Our oldest grandson’s sixteenth birthday and newly acquired learners permit brought to mind some of my own driving experiences as a sixteen year old.
One of my earliest times driving on snow-covered roads, I came to a stop sign, slowed, braked, and slid into the intersection. But I wanted to turn the corner, not keep going straight. Turning the steering wheel as usual made the back of the car slide faster than the front. I succeeded in making the turn without hitting anything or going off the road, but decided to head back. A short time later I managed to arrive home without any new dents, dings, or an insurance claim.
For some unknown reason I didn’t get the importance of driving at dusk with headlights on. I remember other cars flashing their lights at me after the sun had gone down. But I could still see the road sort-of okay and saw no reason to turn on the headlights. It never registered to my teenage brain that the car lights also let other drivers see me.
But my early parking abilities won the booby prize. I had a hard pulling into a parking space and keeping the car centered. This included getting the car into our garage. One particular time, I pulled into our garage extremely crooked.
Not wanting to stay that way, I backed up a bit and pulled forward, but car was parked worse than before. Over and over I inched the car back and forth. Each move made the car more crooked than before. Finally our car literally sat sideways in the garage.
With much trepidation, I went into the house to get Dad. To this day I don’t know how he managed to maneuver the car out of the garage without banging into one of the walls.
Yes, our grandson has much to learn and I’m glad his parents are the teachers rather than me. Even now I wouldn’t be able to get a sideways-parked car out of a garage without hitting a wall.