Hey guys! A couple months ago I got my learner’s permit, but it wasn’t until last weekend that I hit the road for the first time. Today I’ll tell you guys about my first experience behind the wheel, as well as my parents’ experience in the passenger seat.
As the oldest kid in my family, I never had an older sibling who learned to drive before me, so I never felt any rush to learn how to drive. I mean, I wasn’t in any rush. My only childhood memory of driving was one bumper car ride at Hersheypark when I couldn’t steer and got half the cars stuck in a traffic jam. Everybody was yelling at me, and when the ride ended, people were saying that they felt bad for the next generation of drivers. That’s what I thought of when I thought about driving.
With a couple weeks available during the summer, my mom told me that I should get the two week-long driver’s ed course out of the way. At the end, I’d be old enough to get my learner’s permit, which means that I could drive with a parent in the car. The class, which lasted three hours a day for ten days, was more boring than any class I’d taken in school, but I finished. On the last day, my dad brought me to the DMV and I got the learner’s permit.
I drove twice in parking lots on my first day with a permit, but after that, the driving was sporadic. My family was doing a lot of other activities and were either too busy or too distracted to set time aside for driving. That is, until last Saturday.
After a month-long absence from driving, I went back to the same parking lot to refresh my skills. Ten minutes in, my dad asked if I wanted to go on the road and I nervously nodded my head. We were the only people on the road, so the stakes were low, but I was locked in and careful I could be. The experience seemed surreal- me driving a vehicle down the road after being in the passenger seat so many times.
The conditions were pretty controlled at that point- small road, no cars, slow speed. A little while later, I got a better taste of what driving on the roads would be like. I turned off the little street I was on and turned onto a multi-lane road. Now I was sharing the road with other cars and pushing my foot a little harder on the gas. This was for real!
Every time I had to make a decision, I’d consult with my dad and then make whatever turn or maneuver that I needed to make. Then it became harder- parked cars in the road that I had to avoid. I focused driving well instead of worrying about hitting a car and my dad told me if I ever came close. And then it became even harder- cars coming in the opposite direction. I kept my eyes on the road and stayed composed. I turned into a small neighborhood and saw a lemonade stand in front of the entrance and a little girl jumping around trying to get cars to pull over and buy lemonade. In my head, I was thinking ‘Girl, this is my first time driving. I’m not that pro yet’. Thankfully, she didn’t run in front of the car or try to get my attention.
And then, the challenge above them all- the thinnest, sharpest cul-de-sac I’d ever seen. At some time, it might have been a wide open loop, but now the lane around it was cut in half by all of the parked cars. With the help of my dad, I carefully steered around the circle, going as slow as a snail. Finally, we made it out without a scrape and I exhaled.
I returned to the parking lot and switched to the passenger seat, but when I got home, my mom wanted to ride. I drove the route that I usually would run to school, which was about three miles, and then I came back a slightly different way. Many of the same obstacles challenged me again, like a car coming in the opposite direction or a quick turn, but I was more confident and was smoother. Right before we turned into the driveway, my mom wanted me to ease on the brake and I accidently kicked the gas so that we went roaring onto the driveway. My mom was severely startled, but I coolly slowed to a stop and parked perfectly, giving an exciting end to a thrilling day of driving.
Aside from driving for the first time, I thought it was entertaining to see how differently each passenger reacted. I was nervous but ready to go (Born to Be Wild plays). My dad was cool and collected, and with the speed I was going, he was like (Cruise plays). And my mom, well, (Jesus Take the Wheel plays).
That’s my first driving experience on the road! Do you have any interesting driving stories? What did you think of the second episode? Comment below and make sure to subscribe! See you round!