You're objecting. "It's not that bad" you say. "They have to take a written test to get their permit." Yes. Yes, they do. This would lead you to believe they actually know something. Passing such a test might make you think they have the basics down. The problem is that you don’t know what they don’t know until you’re smack in the middle of an incident.
For example: Yielding the right of way when making a left-hand turn in an intersection without a directional arrow. No-brainer right? That's what I thought until we were turning left in front of a long line of cars at the largest intersection in our town.” No, no, NO!” I sputtered as I pedaled for the brake that doesn't exist on the passenger side. We somehow made it through the junction unscathed with horns justifiably blaring. Did it slow my son down for an instant? No. He gave me that look, that “what’s your problem?” look that drives me mad.
“You have to yield to oncoming traffic on a left turn if you don't have an arrow!” I informed him, my voice shrill from adrenaline.
“Well, how am I supposed to know that!?” he countered.
Hmm…What do they ask on that pre-permit quiz?
The very first ride in the car with my son at the helm was an exercise in self control. Specifically, I controlled my grip on my thigh to avoid piercing my own flesh as we sped too quickly and too close to parked cars on the four mile drive from his father’s house to mine. Perhaps he was trying to demonstrate he was a confident driver. All I know is we passed parked cars with little room to spare causing me to scrunch up and lean towards the middle of the car, hoping to avoid injury lest the passenger side door was ripped off or the side view mirror of a parked car smashed through my window. “You’re driving too close on the right.” I informed him, attempting to sound calm. “But I just want to stay far away from the center line.” he whined. I agreed it was good to be far from the center line but insisted an equilibrium needed to be achieved. Ah, the nuances of motoring that don’t occur to the experienced driver. No doubt this wasn’t covered on the permit exam. Some things are so obvious they would seem to require no comment.