July 23, 2009

Driving with a Teen

Saturday, July 18, marked the official end of class instructed Driver's Education for our teen. She scored an 86 in class. (Is that good enough? I am beginning to think: NO!) Now we have to complete the required 50 hours of her driving with us before she can get her license.

So far we have ticked off about 10 hours. In those 10 hours I think my heart has stopped at least twice. The first incident occurred turning off a major thorough fare onto a rural road. I told her way before the turn what she had to do: Slow down enough to execute the turn but do not stop unless there is oncoming traffic.

There was no oncoming traffic but there were vehicles coming up behind us. She took the left turn at about 40 mph. The truck almost flipped. My heart stopped beating for an instant.

I explained to her what she did wrong. Do you know how annoying it is to hear "I know, MOM, you don't have to tell me!" I try to give her constructive criticism and I get that. All along, I am sitting in the passenger seat wondering if I wet my pants and checking to see if my heart started beating again. Well, at least she knows what she is doing, yeah right.

In the same driving session, we arrived at our destination. I told her to park. Her first attempt failed. She was over the line and crooked. I let her do it her way that time. I told her to back out and try my way.

I explained, for a straight in spot you should pull out a bit left or right then swing in between the lines using the center of the hood and the lines as your guide. Sure enough she did it my way and parked just fine. Then she proceeded to accelerate rather than brake and drove up over the curb and almost into a light post.

This was the last straw for me. I took over the wheel and vowed my husband would ride shotgun for the remainder of her hours with us.

Stay tuned for my next installment: Driving on the highway

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