Driving Is A Piece of Cake – Learning How To Is Easy
Yes, memorizing enough of the Rules of the Road to pass the knowledge tests in existence today in the US is simple enough.
Learning how to start a modern vehicle and put it into gear is a piece of cake, especially in the US where most vehicles have an automatic transmission.
Becoming familiar enough with the accelerator, brake and steering wheel manipulation is also pretty straight-forward, although it does take some practice to make certain the correct pedal is used for the desired outcome (which is why we tell parents of our students to pull the vehicle out of the garage before going on a practice drive with their teen).
Adding on the ability to use the turn signals, headlights, and windshield wipers pretty much completes the “training” necessary to allow a person to “drive” a vehicle down the road. In fact, a lot of cars have automatic headlights, so you don’t even need to know where the control is or how it works.
Why would we need to spend hundreds of dollars and so much time learning how to drive?
Driving Safely & Responsibly:
- Is a Mental Process Assisted by Physical Moves
- Requires significant preparation
- Is NOT a one week process
While behind the wheel of a vehicle, the driver is presented with an ever-changing set of information on road and traffic conditions that he/she must process and use to make informed decisions on how to control the vehicle. That includes recognizing potential issues in time to respond appropriately. All the efforts regarding distracted driving basically have this as the underlying premise: you as the driver need to be taking in the information needed for safe driving, not on what’s happening on your phone or with your food or…or…
It takes time and practice to develop the observation skills needed to allow proper reaction. That requires much more than 6 hours behind the wheel in a supervised mode, along with boring classroom/online presentations of the Do’s & Dont’s of driving. To obtain a drivers license in Europe(regardless of age) a person has to complete a rigorous (and expensive) training process that in comparison makes our process look like a walk in the park.
Until we in the US adopt more stringent rules for new driver preparation, the need to learn how to protect yourself from the mistakes of others will only increase as those that choose to delay licensing past the GDL requirement age (and that is happening, big time for a variety of reasons) become licensed “drivers” with little or no preparation and then put us at risk as we share the road with them.