3 Things I Wish My Driver’s Education Teacher Had Warned Me About

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

FrustratedIf you’re like me, you took Driver’s Education as part of your sophomore or junior year curriculum.  Back in high school, Driver’s Ed was a semester-long, elective course in which you were qualified to enroll at the age of 15.  Typically, by the last day of class, a student was well versed on the ‘rules of the road’ and highly anticipating the arrival of his or her 16th birthday.  Apparently, the rules of the road have changed since earning my driver's license many years ago.  Exasperated by the behavior of some fellow drivers, I realize my Driver’s Ed instructor neglected to clue me into the dark side of motor vehicles and at least three 'unwritten' rules:

Whatever You Do
Refrain From Using Your Turn Signal When Attempting To Change Lanes

I've been under the impression that turn signals alerted other drivers of your intention to merge into another lane.  This is only partially true.  Essentially, I have learned that using your turn signal accomplishes something else as well.  Nearby drivers are immediately notified of their cue to speed up
thereby making it virtually impossible to move over.  Added Bonus:  As you find yourself desperately trying to squeeze into another lane time and again, you've ensured that the number of near-miss, rear-end collisions will also increase exponentially.

Pedestrians Don't Really Have The Right Of Way

In most cases, I thought pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.  Shouldn't a person driving a 4,000 pound vehicle slow down for a pedestrian trying to cross the street almost a block away?  Nope, that's really not necessary.  It’s much better to frighten the ?!*@#!* out of the poor woman before almost hitting her.  Allow her to safely and comfortably cross the street while carrying six bags of groceries?  Not your problem.  Plus, do you see that red light up ahead?  Why show a little common courtesy when you can hurry up and wait in traffic?  Sheesh … everyone is in such a rush these days.

After Someone Damages Your Car In The Parking Lot – Expect That Person To Drive Away As Quickly As Possible

Let's say you’ve finished shopping and you're getting ready to head home.  All of a sudden, a big gust of wind comes by and slams your car door into the car next to you.  In order to move your vehicle, you have to get out of your car
then using both hands, you must lift your car door off of the car next to you.  Don't forget to take a second glance to confirm significant damage to the other car.  Alas, you notice the owner of the other car she is swiftly approaching after witnessing your actions.  What do you do next?  That's simple.  Get back in your car and high-tail it out of there as fast as possible!  No sense in stopping – after all, that’s not your car.

So much for my "A" in Driver's Ed class

In other words, what the heck are they teaching in driver's education classes these days anyway?  Recently, I heard that the gold standard of hand placement – the "10 and 2" steering wheel hand positions are all wrong now.  What else don't I know? 

Posted by

carie shapiro

Connect With Me

Connect with me on Linkedin

Come Back & Visit Me




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
The Vent
drivers education discourteous drivers

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Carie,

So funny but so sad as well. My daughter came home with one the other day. Yellow means go faster or as she calls it PINK but definitely not slow down and stop. Yes she told me it is not 10/2 anymore for steering wheel placement  but 3/9 due to the airbags which apparently can cause your hands to be removed from your body.... so maybe that is one I need to change to.

Jul 28, 2012 01:27 AM #51
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Ciara:  From what I'm hearing, these drivers are everywhere!!

Erica:  Thanks!  And, I know your 16 year old is very excited right now :)

Debbie:  True.  Life has changed in so many ways, for sure!

Joan:  Ha!  If you find those signs anywhere, let me know!

Christine:  Yes, I've had some frustrating experiences out there lately.  And, some have repeated themselves ... <sigh>


Jul 28, 2012 01:55 AM #52
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Joyce:  That's a very good question :)

Valerie:  Oh, I don't use any 'appendages' ... but, I am most definitely a 'mumbler' :)

Janis:  I've had drivers get so upset with me over nothing too!  Your explanation makes sense ... thanks!  And, turning left with a blinking right turn signal?  Yeah ... that's always a total mystery to me too :)

Debby:  Yes, it's all about manners, courtesy, morals, ethics, and the list goes on.  Or, as you said "Life Ed" ... I like that!

Edie:  Thanks!  I never knew about the hand position change until just last week :)

Jul 28, 2012 02:05 AM #53
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Bob:  Thanks.  From what I'm hearing, it's scary in a lot of places out there!

Valerie:  Wow ... I was hoping Alan's story was just an urban legend.  I cannot believe that the 'blank card' scenario has actually happened to someone.  And, you're the second commenter to confirm it has really occurred!  Also, you're absolutely right about the parallel parking story ... oh boy, does that ever happen too!

Lottie:  I'd never heard that advice before.  Makes perfect sense ... thanks :)

Ann:  Thanks!  And, great story you shared about your son :)

Kathy:  "Why can't we all just get along" ... well said!

Jul 28, 2012 02:13 AM #54
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

John:  Thanks for sharing the story about your daughter.  What a mess over someone just trying to do the right thing!  And, after all she's been through -- to respond to your question with such morality, grace, and civility.  She must have a really special and wonderful father who has taught her well :)  It sounds like you are very proud ... and you should be!

Liz:  You're right ... keeping a sense of humor can help you deal with all sorts of life situations, yes?

Kristin:  Yes, funny but sad is right!  Never heard 'yellow' referred to as 'pink' before :)  And, not only do people not slow down when it's 'pink' ... they even keep driving when it couldn't be any more red too!

Jul 28, 2012 02:24 AM #55
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Carie:  I can remember very well taking Driver's Ed during my Junior Year in High School.  Oh, yes... I can remember it well. 

Why do I say this with such certainty ?  Because one day... while driving, with the Catholic Nun... the Driver's Ed teacher sitting right next to me (at the Catholic School I attended)... I actually hit the rear end of a city bus.

Yes... with the Instructor next to me, and other students in the back seat.  Now, I must admit, I didn't hit it very hard... just kinda sorta "nudged" it... but still... it was enough of a nudge to make me instantly famous throughout my entire high school.

Some girls made the cheerleader squad.  Me, I hit a bus.  Ah... those were the days.

Jul 28, 2012 02:41 AM #56
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Carie~ I really enjoyed this post, it's always nice reminiscing to high school years. A car can be very dangerous, yearly, many individuals are killed in a car, or by a car ..It's a great reminder to be safe & follow the rules!!!

Jul 28, 2012 03:38 AM #57
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Carie- Your post is very entertaining. Northern Virginia has the worst traffic in the country (we "beat" NYC and LA this year) and there is always a middle finger flying or someone cutting you off. I agree it can be very frustrating.

Jul 28, 2012 05:32 AM #58
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Karen Anne:  LOL!  Thanks for sharing that wonderful story!  Look at it this way:  Why just be a cheerleader when you can be the coolest kid in school for hitting a city bus while driving with your Driver's Education teacher :)

Jon:  Taking a stroll down memory lane is always fun!  And yes ... you have to be careful and drive defensively!

Amanda:  Thanks!  I did not know that about Northern Virginia.  And, beating out NYC and LA too!  Now that's impressive ... I think :)

Jul 28, 2012 08:59 AM #59
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Carrie found your post via Karen Anne's post - funny story.  Just today I watched cars not allow people walk across the street in a cross walk - UNREAL. I thought you couldn't turn until they were totally on the other side and out of the cross walk.  I'll have to look that one up again.

Jul 28, 2012 09:29 AM #60
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

And don't forget distracted drivers.  Whenever I see someone driving too slow, not signaling, or weaving during the middle of the day, I know they are talking on their phone or texting.  Hang up and drive already.

Jul 28, 2012 12:02 PM #61
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sorry about the Dallas driving woes, Carie.

At least you are not encountering that friend of Alan's with the blank cards.

Have a great day, Bob


Jul 28, 2012 12:12 PM #62
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Carrie, if they still offer drivers ed classes in school the curriculum must have changed dramatically :) of course on the other side of the coin I may be starting to drive a little like my grandfather used to :)

Jul 28, 2012 01:54 PM #63
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

If you signal your lane change in LA traffic it only allows the shooter to lead you!  :)

Jul 28, 2012 02:49 PM #64
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Anna:  Thanks!  Not allowing pedestrians to cross in a crosswalk ... amazing, isn't it?

Rob:  "Hang Up and Drive Already" ... well said!

Bob:  I know ... the blank card thing!  Isn't that unbelieveable??

Nancy:  Ha!  Starting to drive like my grandfather ... hmmm, I may also be guilty as charged :)

Gene:  I've heard about driving in LA ....

Jul 29, 2012 04:09 AM #65
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

A few years ago when my step sons were in high school I was told that drivers ed must be paid for in order to participate so many people just weren't doing it.  All those 'swerving drivers education' cars that you see?  They aren't being used either I guess.  I'm not really sure how kids learn to drive now adays.

I have to say that 'Evil Lyn' takes over when I see a drivers ed car.  I swerve at them, honk, you name it.  Most of the time though they annoy me because they are going slow in the left lane!

Jul 29, 2012 05:20 AM #66
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

I have another one to add: "On the interstate, be sure to drive in the fast lane about 10 mph slower than the posted speed limit, keeping parallel with a tractor-trailer truck in the other lane so no one can get past you for the next 10 miles." That one is my favorite. 

Jul 30, 2012 06:31 AM #67
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

And another one:  If there's a speed limit it doesn't apply to those who WANT to speed and anyone who is obeying the speed limit is the real and true cause of any problem caused to the speeder (certainly the speeder themselves couldn't possibly be the cause of their own inconvenience!) and should get out of their way or, preferably, off of their road, because all deference should be given to those who speed.  

Jul 31, 2012 03:24 AM #68
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Been driving for 50 years without much problem.  My DAD taught me WELL.  There was no such thing as driver's ed in my day. However, my dad was a great teacher. Most parents SHOULDN'T teach their children.

Aug 04, 2012 12:49 AM #69
Kay Marc
I wish drivers Ed would have taught kids what to do in the event of an accident. I had my first accident when I was 16, I backed into a friends car in the dark. I didn't see it, and I didn't know if I even did any damage (I certainly hoped not). But, I did. And they knew, but I was scared and left. Because I didn't know how to handle it, I made the worst of it.
Sep 08, 2012 07:55 PM #70
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Carie Shapiro

Ask me a question