It is tough to learn to drive! Some people learn and others just fake it.

Recently, I have noticed a new trend as I drive around Phoenix-simultaneous Accelerating and Braking. I coined a term Acceler-Brake to help make it easier. Given that most of the population drive automatics they only have two pedals to deal with. This group of drivers have figured out it is easier to be prepared by keeping both feet in place. Pretty clever actually!

Here is just one of my experiences:

I was driving the M3 down one of our local back roads and stopped at a traffic light. Up pulls a new BMW 3 series and stops next to me–you can sense what is going on in his mind. The light changes to green and he floors it. I just chuckled and started normally.

As he gets further in front of me his brakes lights are blaring as he accelerates down the road ahead of me. Now for the funny part. He gets caught at the next traffic light and repeats the exact same actions.

Got a good story. Use #Driving101 as a search term in Twitter and let’s see if we can’t start a trend.

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The U-Turn

U-turns are the most selfish of all the turns–they’re not about YOU they’re all about me!

U-turns are only about making it easy on yourself–why circle the block or turn into a parking lot to get your sense of direction and make a safe course correction. That would be entirely to safe and take way too long.

The worst U-turn offenders are the ones that can’t even judge the amount of space required to make a smooth complete turn. You know the ones that have to make a 3 point turn while traffic is barreling down on them or ease the car up onto the curb just to complete the change in direction.

U-turns are so heinous that some states ban them entirely arming every intersection with the signs and only allowing them on some carefully guarded intersections where a left hand turn arrow is available.

Please folks–remember these few things if you are going to make a U-turn:

  1. Know how much space your car requires to make a U-turn
  2. Remember to watch for oncoming traffic
  3. Be aware of other vehicles around you

Here is my story (OK, it is actually Deb’s)

Teenager races up to a red light and promptly makes a right on red without stopping or looking. Deb is proceeding through the intersection when the turning car steals her lane causing her to swerve left to avoid the uncaring teenager. GREAT! YEAH!

Teenager promptly (less that 25 ft) decides she made a wrong turn and proceeds to make a U-turn into the side of the Jeep. BOO! BAD!

Got a good U-turn story!   Share it.   Use #Driving101 as a search term in Twitter and let’s see if we can’t start a trend.

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The Introduction

As a teenager, who did not have an adult tell you that driving was a privilege and it should not be taken lightly. I know I heard that phrase about every 5 minutes for at least half of my young life. What Happened and When did it Change!

I learned to drive a beaten up Datsun B210 with a manual transmission under the tutorship of my mother. She was cool, I could pick the radio station or play my own cassettes while we spent the evenings driving the roads of Pittsburgh. I also had the typical Driver’s Education classes where you watched the “Wheels of Tragedy” style of movies and rode around in a car filled with teenagers and one crotchety old man barking commands. That is the material for surefire comedy gold.

In my later years, I attended several BMW driving classes where the focus was totally different and often encouraged harder braking and more gas. The goals where very different but it still translated to the real world driving experience. The key was to look where you were going and anticipate the road.

Still later, I attended MSF and Experienced Rider education classes for motorcycles. This further changed my view of driving and responsibility. A car can be forgiving but a motorcycle knows little mercy for the person who makes a casual error. Most motorcyclists ride safe and have few issues except for the lunatics in the cages.

Why a Driving 101 blog series? Because driving and drivers have changed! As a driver, runner and cyclist I have seen more cases of stupidity and lack of care than I can count. I can hardly think of a trip out of my house where I do not have a story. I wanted a way to highlight those stories along with driving behaviors/skills and most of all I wanted to start a discussion on Twitter.

Have you seen driving behavior that is worthy of a callout to the world! Use #Driving101 as a search term in Twitter and let’s see if we can’t start a trend.

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