Recently I have taken my Driver’s Education class and I am now waiting for my chance to drive with an instructor. So in the meantime I am driving with Mrs. Idealist in empty parking lots. Yeah. So I found that driving is a lot harder than it looks. I keep pressing the gas pedal instead of the brake, which, as you can imagine frightens my mom and myself tremendously. If there were any cars in the parking lot (thank goodness there aren’t) I would somehow find a way to crash into them. My greatest fear is tight turns. I press hard on the brake and take them at a crawl. That’s not going to be great when I’m actually on real roads. The winding roads and sharp turns of the Carolinas are not the best suited for beginning drivers.
I am also terrified of the semis I know I will have to encounter when I finally do get to drive on the roads. What if a semi driver doesn’t see me and crushes me? How do I know I’m far enough over on the road when a semi comes my way? What if the brakes on the semi fail on a hill and they crash into me?
Okay, so maybe I’ve thought a little too much about this, but I can’t help it. My mind has a mind of its own. My biggest question though, is how can people react so quickly on the roads? How can people see a danger and immediately know what to do? Of course not everybody can, as we see from the many accidents that happen daily, but I have witnessed a few close encounters with my parents that would have been accidents if they hadn’t reacted as quickly as they did. I think the key to this is defensive driving. By this I mean always assuming everybody else doesn’t know what they’re doing and you are therefore anticipating what could go wrong in order to always be prepared to prevent an accident. This is a hard thing to do especially when you are first learning to drive and there are so many other things to remember, but I personally think that it is the most important thing to do in order to be safe. The most dangerous thing on the roads is assuming that another driver knows what they are doing when they really don’t.
This may be taking it a step too far, but I believe that in a way, we have to “defensive drive” so to speak, in life. I don’t mean assuming everyone is stupid or infantilizing them, but rather always being a step ahead in order to avoid the “accidents” of life. We must think forward to the future and be prepared with the appropriate reaction when things go wrong in life. Angry driving is a great risk to the driver and to everybody on the road. Overly cautious or inattentive driving isn’t much better. Staying calm and ready to handle anything is key. On the road of life, we must always stay alert and prepared. Don’t let life catch you off guard.