California Drivers Ed Diary

[Written by Contributing Writer Alexis David, who is keeping an ongoing California drivers ed diary for us, detailing her experiences going through our California online drivers ed course .]

When I watch my parents drive, I realize a few things. (1) they can stay up while driving in the early mornings or the late nights without dozing off. (2) they can hold a conversation and still pay attention to what’s happening on the road in front of them. (3) they can sing so off-key and have fun without getting distracted! And so I think, “Hey, if my parents can drive so easily, how bad could it be for me?”

Family driving, with a teen discussing what she's learned in her California drivers ed course.

Family driving, with a teen discussing what she’s learned in her California drivers ed course.

While my parents make driving look incredibly easy, I’ve realized that I’ve jumped to this conclusion a little too quickly. Driving includes knowing your car, knowing your capability to drive, understanding all the rules of the road, knowing when to turn on your headlights and when not to, being aware of the weather that can affect your car, and many other possibilities that can affect your driving. There are ways to handle malfunctions in your car, a certain number of days that a license can be suspended, and what you should know when yielding to a bus or school zone. All in all, there’s a handful of basic things you should understand and grasp.

So far, I’ve learned that driving is a privilege. I’ve been given responsibilities (like the safety of others), and if I don’t do them properly or if I disobey them, I can have my license revoked . I can also have my license suspended if I get in numerous accidents and convictions. As a driver, I always need to pay attention around me. If I’m feeling tired, I should pull over to a rest station and nap or sleep to get more energy instead of dozing off and getting into an accident.

I’ve mastered pavement and curb markings. For example, a dashed white line means you can change lanes, but, here in California, if the white line is solid, that means you most likely shouldn’t, and that if the solid white line designates a turn, you cannot cross it. Yellow lines are in the center of the road for two-way traffic. In the time when my mom and I were driving home one day, I got so excited about knowing what these road markings mean that I pointed them out and told her about them. We had a conversation about what I learned so far, her adding some facts I already knew, and I, incorporating my insight of what I had learned. I was very proud of myself that day because I knew what my mom was talking about when on the road. The course is paying off!

My experience with drivers ed teaches valuable information that I can remember. I love how I can work at my own pace, and go back to any modules if I forgot anything or need to review what I’ve learned. It creates an easy learning experience, and includes many visuals, click-to-see activities, and tests at the end of each module to see if you’ve understood enough to move on. Right now, I’m currently studying the Driving Maneuvers module. I’m hoping I can finish all the way up to the Alcohol, Driving, and Substance Abuse module by mid-March! I’m very interested in what the course has in store for me.

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