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7.15.2012

Driver’s Ed


Tio’s first driving lesson came when he was 10 years old. We made a bet over his getting on the honor roll. But there was more to it than that. Living out in the country, I remember learning to drive much earlier than 16 and having a real feel for the road when I was finally old enough to drive in traffic. We had plenty of deserted or private roads to practice on, as we do here.

Teenage drivers are statistically the worst drivers there are. Just in the past 2 months in my town alone a friend’s son was in a 2 week coma hitting a tree and a girl killed a pedestrian 2 miles from here because she wasn’t paying attention. She swerved right onto the shoulder and killed a jogger. These are real events in our world and only the tip of the iceberg.

For many kids it is asking too much that they learn to operate the vehicle, navigate busy roads, understand and observe the traffic laws, and deal with all the people they may have crammed into their car all within months of turning 16.  So why shouldn’t I want my grandsons to have an edge? I want him to be comfortable and competent behind the wheel, understand the nuance of controlling the car as only experience can teach, so that when he turns 16 and takes to the streets he can concentrate on learning to manipulate his way through traffic and all the things that come at you on a busy street.

Driving the car is easy, surviving other drivers on the road is not. Perhaps 10 was a little young to start but no way will I leave the whole thing until they are within spitting distance of a licence.