I never realized when my 15-year-old started Driver’s Ed it would mean a driving refresher course for me. Suddenly there is a voice in my car informing me of any traffic laws or guidelines that I am not following correctly.
I truly never knew I was such a bad driver.
“Mom, you’re supposed to stop AT the stop sign. You rolled a little past it before you stopped.”
“Mom, you’re supposed to get in the turn lane during the dotted line part, not wait until closer to the turn.”
“Mom, you’re supposed to have both hands on the wheel at 10 and 2. You shouldn’t drive with one hand.”
It’s like that annoying GPS lady telling me that I am going the wrong way and need to turn around, only I can argue with her and tell her to hush.
I can’t do that with my son. Because he’s right. I’m bending the rules.
I am sure that when I started driving as a teenager, I was hyper-vigilant to make sure I was following all the rules to the letter. But after 20…oh, okay…30 years of driving, a lot of it has become an auto-pilot activity instead of a new and exciting responsibility.
Don’t get me wrong – I try to be a responsible driver. I don’t drink and drive, I always wear my seatbelt, and I try to be defensive rather than offensive.
But have you ever really gone 25 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour speed zone? You might as well open the driver’s door and push the car with your feet like Fred Flintstone. It is sooooo slow.
My biggest challenge with being a good driver has always been speeding. Well, that is, until my son was old enough to read the speed limit signs and my speedometer. It was like having my very own radar system right in the backseat.
He would call out the speed limit and my speed and tell me to slow down. Not really a request you can refuse. Nor can you really explain the “five miles over is okay” mindset to a child.
His watchful presence in the car has kept me from become a texting driver, and being conscious of his eyes has kept me from ever flipping off other drivers or engaging in other antagonistic road behaviors. (although he may have heard the word “idiot” in reference to other drivers more times than I care to admit!)
So I can’t really complain that he is telling me what he has learned in the class, and of course, I want him to be a safe driver and follow all the laws and rules.
So I guess I’ll be coming to an absolutely full and complete stop at all stop signs now, and I will use my blinker every time I change lanes. Even when no one is behind me.
Originally published at The Goddess Howe on the South Lake Tablet.