Thursday, June 14, 2007

Driver's Training... the hard way

There was a story recently about a dad giving his daughter driving lessons.
They were practicing in the school parking lot when the daughter lost control of their SUV and crashed into the school building.
What made the story interesting to me was that the accident caused more monetary damage to the building than it did to the SUV.

It occured to me for just a moment that maybe I'd like to put my kids behind the wheel of a vehicle like that. So if there's an accident, my family walks away unharmed.

But just for a moment.

Because if you think about it...
How can you pack your kid behind the wheel of something they can't handle and call that safety?

I think the skills of the driver should be more important than the size of the vehicle or the number of safety features.

Let's be honest.
That building didn't pull out in front of the girl.
It didn't dart out from between two parked cars.
It wasn't in her blind spot.

She hit a freakin' building!

Before someone gets behind the wheel, they need to be a good driver.
The quality of the vehicle means nothing if the driver has no skills.

Can you imagine the tragedy if, during her training session with dad, she'd have hit a dog instead? She'd be devastated.
She'd be afraid to ever drive again.

And that's just a dog.
Heaven forbid it was a smaller car.
With her classmates in it.
Or an infant.

Let's depend on making the drivers safer, not the features.



chlorinejenny said...

Kids driving scare me! I scare me! I hate driving.

You are right though. Make the drivers safer.

HapKiDo said...

It's tough to make sure someone's a good driver before they get behind the wheel. I do agree safety is paramount, though.
Unless this kid was behind the wheel of a 1965 Pontiac GTO Post coupe (which I've driven - tuned to 425HP), I doubt she had too much power to handle. More likely she was being a kid, made a (dangerous) mistake and, hopefully, learned a very valuable lesson.

Jessie said...

Well, when I was learning to drive, a couple days from getting my license actually, I hit a building. Well, I'd assume the garage attached to the house would count. My mom had been grabbing the wheel all night, and finally in the driveway, she goes "move up a bit." I did, right through the wooden door. It was a Taurus, I think. I don't remember my mom's car.

My point is that it also should be advised that a person with infinite patience should be teaching as well. It worries a kid just as much when the parents are blurting out what to do and kicking up a fuss in the process. So, while I certainly think this girl deserves real driving lessons, I wonder what the dad was doing when giving the lesson. If you can't do it, have someone that can. That might have helped as well.

Roses said...

I had a plethora of thoughts running through my head when I posted this.
I also had one child blathering on about Runescape on one side and another child complaining about his socks on the other.

My main thought was that we, as a lazy society, now have cars that can parallel park for us and detect when we are driving too close to another object.

At what point should a human being take control and take responsibility for learning how to take care of itself?

Again, a million thoughts...
Only two hands to type...

Roses said...

But mostly, I am enjoying all your comments on the subject.

Thank you for taking the time.

Jessie said...

Wish I could have had a car that parallel parked for me. I couldn't do it for the longest time. My stepdad eventually went and measured the distance of the cones and put his own from work with white PVC pipe sticking up so I could see it.

I passed after doing that for two hours every day for two weeks.

HapKiDo said...

I'm against the auto-parallel parking & proximity sensor stuff. While they're very cool gizmos - like James Bond gadgets - they also take the learning out of things.
If I followed that example, my instructor would have just uploaded self-defense (Hapkido) into my brain (scary!) & I'd "know" without ever doing. What's the point of taking the experience out of life?

Jessie said...

Yeah, but really in Atlanta, parallel parking is unnecessary. I mean, you try doing that on any given Peachtree street and you'll be run over.

Roses said...

hapkido: Oo! Just like "Total Recall" or "Minority Report"!

HapKiDo said...

OK, the psychic angle might be good to have but I stop short of having someone pull an over-sized, glowing red ball out of my nose! OUCH!