So true, what you say about the value of professional training. Family and friends often do indeed pass on bad habits--coupled with over-confidence in their own skills. Of course, as a driver ed instructor, I'm a bit biased about this particular point!
My students often overlook those non-obvious lane changes as well. We teach that pulling over to the curb to park is a lane change--from the traffic lane to the parking lane. Merging lanes are a lane change as well, in many cases. And for any lane change, the student driver is expected to do a complete MSMOG. This is a handy mnemonic we use to help students remember: Mirror, Signal, Mirror, Over-the-shoulder, Go if safe.
What advice would you give our readers about dealing with the DMV, in general? What's it like from your perspective on the other side of the counter, so to speak, to serve your customers at the DMV?
Since my last post I have encountered three vehicles with flat tires, which did not come with spare tires. One 2013 Buick regal GS and two Hyundai's. Turns out that Buick won't even sell a compact spare tire for that model, so the only fix would be to stow a full-sized spare tire; problem there is no space allocated for convenient stowage. Lesson here: Before buying a car ensure that it comes with spare tire (full-size or donut, not an inflatable tire substitutes or a can of Fix-a-Flat, which is useless when a tire gets damaged by hitting road debris as was the case with the Buick).
@sean The Autonomous vehicle is coming, here in Michigan the companies pursuing this concept have built their own test "City" in Ann Arbor for scaling and research. I am able to sit in my living room and literally watch cars go by with the tech. mounted to the roof (the radar unit I guess).
Trucking industry worldwide is exploring "Platooning" which is combining 3-4 tractor trailer units together all acting off of the front unit. A "driver" is still required to be present in each unit however control is handled by the lead vehicle.
Two hundred million licensed motor vehicle drivers in the United States expose themselves routinely to significant risk while betting that they will not become stranded when they drive. There are two kinds of drivers: 1) those who have already experienced a disabled vehicle (and will again), and 2) those who will for the first time. Each year AAA receives 30 million calls for assistance – just a fraction of total breakdowns. So, it’s not a matter of whether you will break down; it’s a matter of when, where, and how often.
Some folks ask, "Why should I worry about breakdowns? I'll just call for XYZ commercial roadside assistance." I don't knock these assist companies. I can confirm that they usually provide good service in places where they use their own people and equipment, although they're not always timely. Problems occur with breakdowns away from their offices where they often subcontract the work to third stringers who are incompetent. I have seen a lot of this. But why not focus on preventing breakdowns in the first place?
I'm a firm believer in the adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Stick with me on this forum and you'll learn more than you could have believed about preventing and contending with breakdowns. Start by visiting my website: http://www.roadsidesurvival.com/
@hammerlane That's a good point about a teen not being lazy, but being overwhelmed by the thought of driving. A teen also might not being willing to admit that they're afraid, or even aware of the root cause of their fear.
In the first couple drives, many of my teen driver ed students express trepidation about driving on the freeway, often, for the same reasons as your wife. But by the time we head out onto the freeway on Drive 5, they've built up enough confidence that it's usually an easy transition to higher speeds.
That's also a good point also about driving on arterials and highways as actually being more dangerous that driving on freeways, since, as you say, the variety of speeds, directions, and road features make the driving experience a lot more unpredictable, even though it's a slower speeds.
Glad to hear your wife has gained confidence on the freeway!
Your illustration shows the left-turning cars as turning into either the left or right lanes on the cross street. Don't we tell our students left turns into the left lane, and right turns into the right lane?
Good point, @muvngruvn! It's not the best graphic to show the proper lane to enter on a turn.
Good question. Yep. LSMILE is an acronym that stands for:
In Oregon, we generally try to keep the acronyms to a minimum. But this one is a good mnemonic to help students remember the correct procedure on entering the vehicle, before putting the vehicle in motion.
That said, LSMILE isn't perfect. At Portland Community College, we use a lot of Priuses for driver ed. Like many newer vehicles, mirror adjustment controls in a Prius are electric. In order to adjust the mirrors, the driver has to start the engine.
Also, LSMILE omits putting the vehicle into gear (whether Drive or Reverse). We teach that the driver puts the vehicle into gear before releasing the emergency brake.