When I was in high school, there was a class called “Driver Education,” or “Driver Ed.” We had a very handsome instructor, Mr. Higgs. The poor guy; he would take three of us at a time to practice driving. Every one of us had a turn at it; and I remember that his favorite saying was “the life you save may be MINE.”
Driver Ed was something to look forward to; this is when you learned how to drive. Of course, our parents taught us how to drive as well, so we learned early on what to do and what not to do while driving. Mind you, this was way back in the ’60s, and kids were expected to learn how to drive a vehicle responsibly.
The following is some of what we learned from Driver Ed and our parents:
- you are not the only person on the road; act responsibly
- pay attention to where you are and who is around you
- observe the speed limit
- watch out for other drivers
- when you back out of a parking spot, look behind you before you back out
- if you don’t know how to parallel park, either learn how or don’t do it at all
- when you can, let someone else go ahead of you
- if someone lets you go ahead of you, wave and smile at the someone as a “thank you.” It’s not only good manners but it makes another person happy. Perhaps that will make them do something kind for another person.
Of course, there were many more things to learn. Back then, there were not the distractions we have now. There were no cell phones, no camera on the dash board to see if what was around when you backed up, no heated seats, and not every vehicle had seat belts. So you really had to pay attention to what you were doing and where you were going.
If you were driving too slowly in front of someone and they were trying to get by, you simply pulled over and let them go. It was a courtesy that sadly went the way of the dinosaurs. And back in those days, car crashes were few and far between.
These days, I don’t think that there is a Driver Ed class in any schools. I don’t know if the parents are teaching their kids to drive, or if everyone just does whatever they please when they drive. And the distractions in a vehicle are huge. It’s no wonder that we have so many car crashes, so many deaths and so many mishaps. Drivers in the main are distracted, too dependent on their devices and too angry most of the time.
And as for speeding; there had better be a good excuse for it, such as a husband speeding to get his pregnant wife to the hospital before she gives birth in the car. Maybe it’s just me, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to re-instate Driver Ed in schools again? Just saying.