When I was a kid, the high school I attended offered “Driver’s Ed.” It was mandatory in my school if you wanted to get a license. You learned a little here and there, but the real learning came from the practice time you got with “any licensed driver.” In my case, that was my father. He took on the job because of his love of cars, not his love for me. But he did teach me a few things.
Fast forward to today. The geniuses who run our state governments have decided to eliminate driver’s ed. Perhaps this is why everyone around me drives like a maniac. I’m just saying….
So here are some basic, simple tips my father taught me. Maybe they would be worth passing down to your kids. They have served me well.
1. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. (Yeah like anyone does this these days.)
2. Keep your hands at the three and nine O’clock positions. It’s easier to turn the wheel over that way.
3. Sitting closer to the steering wheel gives you more control over it.
4. Don’t ride the clutch. You’ll wear it out and you can actually shift better by NOT riding it.
5. Let your engine warm up a few minutes before you gun it. While this is less important given the technology in modern engines, it still holds true to some degree – more so in performance cars.
6. Never assume that an apparently aggressive driver was trying to run you over. Just assume he/she is an idiot and let it pass.
7. If you’re on a long trip, pull off the road, get out of the car and stretch your legs once per hour. Even if you only spend two minutes out of the car, it will keep you fresh.
8. Don’t assume that other drivers understand or respect right of ways. They don’t. So yield even when you don’t have to. It’s going to cost you less time than explaining to a cop why that fool ran into you.
9. When you’re the lead car at an intersection stopped for a red light, count to two when the light changes to green before you leave the intersection. This gives the red-light runners at the same corner to get out of the intersection before you get into it.
10. Speed at the track, not on the road. Don’t ever race on public streets. It’s dangerous for you, your car, the public and not as much fun as racing on a surface designed for racing.
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