Like most teenagers, I couldn't wait to get my driver license. The process for me began with drivers-ed in high school. Just to get a learners permit you have to be able to pass a written test on the basic rules of the road and California State law. I didn't realize it then, but that was the easy part. Being a responsible driver requires not only learning how to drive but also how to maintain a safe and legal vehicle.
The first time behind the wheel was not only frightening but also overwhelming. There were so many critical details to remember. Even though I had done well in drivers-ed it was completely different once I got behind the wheel. I was ok starting the car and pulling out of the driveway but being in traffic was more difficult than I had expected. For instance, if I went to slow, cars speeded around me.
If I went to fast my mom shouted "slow down" And for some reason I couldn't seem to keep the car at one speed and think about everything else at the same time. When I checked the mirrors, I would accidentally swerve the car. When it was time to turn I wouldn't slow down enough and would almost end up in the wrong lane. I did fine at red lights but when I came to a four way stop I wasn't exactly sure when to take my turn. I can't tell you how glad I was to get home and park the car.
Like most new drivers I learned to drive in our family car which is an automatic transmission. I was convinced that I could never drive a stick shift, because there is much more to the process. I know this to be true because...