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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Student Driver

The commute has been interesting these past three weeks. My main highway route is under construction, which has meant single lane driving, random ramp closures, and general headaches. Today there was an interesting twist on the commute, as traffic slowed down about 2/3 of the way there. At first I gave my customary epithet and then I saw the cars on the shoulder. Bummer, it’s an accident.

No just any accident, though. The SUV pulled over seemed completely normal – I didn’t even see a scratch. The little white Taurus was remarkable, though. The front right corner was smashed in, the white paint chipped. But fortunately, the black lettering on the hood – student driver – was undamaged. Unlike that poor kid’s pride.

I have some vivid memories of driver’s education behind-the-wheel. Memories of the passenger side brake being stomped, of being yelled at for stopping at a green light to let people turn right on red. And of course my driver’s test, where I failed parallel parking and rolled every stop sign, such that my instructor said that he “didn’t want to pass me, but he had to.” But at least I didn’t get in an accident.

I wonder what happens to student drivers who get in accidents. Do they have to do more driver’s training? Take the written test again? Wait six months?

At the very least they should check out this page about what to do when you get in an accident. I’m always fascinated by the road flares piece. Does everyone carry road flares or reflective triangles? I almost never see them. And maybe this is why: “Take caution however with road flares in the event of gas spills and leaking fuel tanks.” Why take chances?

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