OUR CORNER: Never too late to learn rules of the road

Nothing brings to light your driving skills, or lack thereof, as a 15-year-old with a driver’s permit.

Nothing brings to light your driving skills, or lack thereof, as a 15 ½ year old with a driver’s permit.

Every forgotten turn signal, rolled stop or five miles over the posted speed limit are brought to your attention by the teen in the passenger seat who has now become an expert on the rules of the road.

The driver’s education instructor warned us this would happen. She noted during the parent meeting that our good driving habits, as well as our bad, would be magnified, not only in our car, but in hers.

Ouch.

I really thought when my kids started driving I’d be the teacher. And although this is true, I’m also finding I’m the student and I’m learning many things that will hopefully help me to be a safer and better driver too.

It’s actually been great. Age-wise, I’m stuck between being a new driver and being eligible for the AARP Defensive Driving courses, also known as 55 Alive, so being the parent of a learning driver is filling the gap.

I’m trying to break 30 years of behind-the-wheel habits I never gave a second thought.

One of the hardest is not holding the steering wheel at 10 and 2. Remember how we old timers learned the steering wheel is like a clock and the left hand rests at 10 and the right hand at 2. That’s so passé.

But it’s outdated because cars today have air bags, a safety device that deploys at hundreds of miles per hour and will literally slam your hands into your face during impact.

I’m learning, and this one has been hard, to fan my side mirrors to open up a wider viewing area behind and beside my vehicle. I’m old school and apparently the area just past my fenders doesn’t allow me to see freeway traffic in the two lanes on either side.

I’ve probably parallel parked a vehicle less than a dozen times in my life and once was for the driver’s test. Honestly, the last time I wedged my way into a parking spot was when I owned a Jeep Wrangler or a two-seat convertible. I’m anxiously waiting for that part of the lessons so we can practice and I can pick up some pointers.

So far it’s been a good experience and I think we are both getting a great education. It’s been fun, really. In a way, I wish everyone could retake driver’s education. It’s a scary place out there on our roads and as a mother who’s about to send her teens out there it would be comforting to know everyone was on their best behavior and paying attention to the rules and safety.

More in Opinion

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

Since Russia helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stay in power and helped to defeat ISIS, are Russia and the U.S. at odds in the Middle East? Is Russia threatening American dominance in the region? The answer to both is no.

Page-turners: Best books of 2017

Continuing an end-of-year tradition that dates back more than 15 years, the King County Library System has chosen its Best Books of 2017.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.

Trump supporters’ attitude still the same

“Support Trump? Sure,” she said. “I like him.” These words by Pam Shilling from Trump Country western Pennsylvania reflect what many Trump supporters are thinking a year after the 2016 election victory, according to an article excerpted from “Politico.com” by “The Week” (Dec. 1, 2017).

Readers note: Change in comments section

The Courier-Herald has switched to a different online reader-comments platform.

Former fan finished with disrespectful NFL players

I lived off the grid for 15 years and the one thing I missed the most was watching pro football.

Carrying firearms about to change at the state Capitol

If you come to the state Capitol and want to see lawmakers in action, there are a few rules to follow while sitting in the galleries overlooking the Senate and the House floors.

America’s monster

I’m not sure when it happened, but I recently realized I’ve stopped asking myself, “What are we going to do about mass shootings and gun violence in this country?” Instead, I now ask, “When is the carnage going to come to Enumclaw?”

Avoiding loss means more than gaining something else

Some studies have shown that losses are twice as psychologically powerful as gains. American history and our current political situation help reveal a great deal about the American/human psyche.

Congratulations, Jan Molinaro

In every election, one person must win and the other will lose. Now more than ever, it is important to show our children how to be gracious in victory and humble in defeat.

Don’t give into the pressure of driving drowsy

Eleven years ago, a drowsy-driving car wreck left me with injuries that still challenge me today.

Opening our minds can be a beautiful thing

As a leader of my church’s Sunday Adult Forum, I had a goal: to put a human face on Islam for the members of the congregation and community.