[Written by DriversEd.com contributing writer Alexis David, who is keeping an ongoing California online drivers ed diary for us, detailing her experience going through our California online drivers ed course .]
I’ve been taking my drivers ed course in a very leisurely manner, which doesn’t help when I just want to get my permit already! Plus, I find I keep forgetting what I learned if I don’t study regularly.
But, with school ending soon, and summer speeding closer faster than I expected, I’ve been trampled with school work last minute. It’s been hard to balance my California drivers ed course with high school and events, but at last I’ve found some time to catch up. Since my last diary entry, I’ve read about substance abuse, defensive driving, and how to drive in different areas.
Substance Abuse module
I already knew drugs and alcohol were bad and harmful. I know there are plenty of people who “enjoy themselves” by intoxicating themselves or getting high on marijuana. But, I’ve learned it’s much worse when people waste themselves while driving. Drugs can cause hallucinations, drowsiness, and dizziness, and alcohol can cause a person to be drunk.
The effects caused by alcohol and drugs can create an incapable driver. If you know someone is drunk driving, you should be aware of their swerving and be fast to react. If there’s an intoxicated driver, let them pass you. However, if you ever do drink, go with a friend to be a designated driver that’ll take you home. When people intoxicate themselves, not only are they a danger to themselves, they’re making it extremely dangerous for other drivers on the road.
Defensive Driving module
I now know defensive driving is like your mind telling you to, “Be aware, keep your eyes peeled, and react as soon as you can!” while driving. It’s true that you must act alert and plan for the unexpected. While driving, you should always wear seatbelts for any sudden stops or collision. Give room for yourself to maneuver on the road when you drive. Get ready for anything coming your way.
You can’t always prevent everything from coming your way, so if a collision does happen, take deep breaths, and check if people need medical assistance in your car, then check outside and assess damages to the vehicle. If I get in a collision, I’ve learned I need to give my information to the other driver, or the resident whose property I’ve damaged. If the resident is not there, I should leave a note with my name and address for them to contact me back.
At the end of the Defensive Driving module, I watched a movie called “Red Asphalt V”. Let me tell you, it was not an easy movie to watch. The video showed blood and guts from actual collisions. Most of the time, I was covering my eyes because I couldn’t handle the excessive amount of blood shown, the broken bones turned at odd angles, or the crushed frames of cars. I wanted to tell myself that the bodies and crashes I was seeing were fake like in any other R-rated movie. Instead, these were real people who weren’ prepared to be in a horrific collision. In that moment, I realized that driving is always about staying alert, which is why I need to learn more about how to do it to become a safe driver.
City, Rural and Freeway Driving module
These are all places I’ve observed my father driving during our frequent road trips from home to destinations in Southern California during the summer time. I’ve noticed that whether we leave in the morning or night, my dad must drive and be alert. In cities, he has to drive carefully because of pedestrians, stop lights, buses loading and unloading people, drivers coming out of alleyways, stop and go traffic gridlock, and many other people on different roads crossing our path.
On these long trips, my dad may end up driving through the middle of nowhere, where there is just grass, powerlines, a two-way road, and the company of my family. In rural areas, it’s mostly just plants and dirt, meaning there could be unmarked fields or farm-way entrances, dirt roads, and unmarked sides to roads. You still need to stay focused in rural areas, because if you get too relaxed, you might not see a farm vehicle coming into the dirt road!
Lastly, somewhere that appears to test not only the driver’s patience, but also the young passengers that want to enjoy the vacation. The freeway. There’s usually lots of traffic at a faster pace with more cars and more lanes, with more people trying to get to where they want to go. Freeway driving is chaotic, but if you stay focused, have patience, know where you’re going, and how to safely get there, it’ll be a smooth ride.
As I come close to completing my drivers ed course, I feel as if it has gone by incredibly fast. I started drivers ed about six months ago, and I’m almost ready to have my permit, after I pass the examination. I’m at 87%! I’m just hoping I’m as good as I am in this course when it comes to practicing behind the wheel.
Alexis Davis is currently taking eDriving’s California online drivers ed course . The course is now available with three options: Basic, Enhanced and Comprehensive, enabling you to include unlimited practice tests, in-car lessons and personal coaching with your California online drivers ed.
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