Winter drive in first gear

It’s been over six weeks since I’ve driven a car, and it’s making me a little crazy. If you know me and you have a car, I’ve probably mentioned the fact I’ll pay you to drive your car for even just five minutes. Driving is an exhilarating experience every time I hop in and go. Older folks might say it becomes such a part of their everyday lives that they begin to not appreciate the fun bestowed in every single driving experience. But for an 18 year-old who hasn’t driven in a while, driving is going to be extremely fun once I’m back on the roads over Spring Break.

I just want to use this space in my favorite newspaper to share a few of my driving stories. The most recent one was when that awful ice storm hit the Northeast during Winter Break. I walked outside and realized it was a bit slippery, but continued to walk down the sidewalk out of my house to my dad’s pickup truck, strapped in, and went down my road. I took the first turn very slowly, and thought to myself this isn’t too bad, until I reached the first major four-way intersection, turned left, and went up on the curb. I was scared but didn’t panic. A huge traveling tour bus was behind me, coming closer, yet it stopped until I was able to gas the truck just enough to put me back onto the road. Moving 10 mph, I turned around and headed back home. Even though the warm weather is approaching us, be careful still of black ice, as the melted water from the snow may freeze over on any given night.

At that same intersection a few months earlier, I had been waiting in my mom’s Ford Expedition at the red light. I looked both ways quickly to make sure no incoming traffic was coming after the light had turned green. I gradually stepped on the gas, as a Jeep Wrangler coming full speed perpendicular to my direction passed before my eyes. Thankfully, I was not hit, but I was shaken up a bit. I continued on, completely distraught. A lesson I learned from this occurrence is to make sure to thoroughly look in all directions when you have the right-of-way to go. Who cares if the person behind you beeps? You’re keeping yourself safe, any passengers in the car safe, and even the people behind you safe, too. Another take-away is to not be that guy to fly through a light just as it’s changed to red. There’s no need to rush; another second or two will not make you late to where ever you have to go.

On a different note, over Winter Break, I just had come out of an ice cream shop and I got into that same pickup truck with my sister and friend. A police car was parked next to us, and the policeman had paused in front of my truck to wait to go into his, since our vehicles were very close to each other. I put the truck in reverse, and then there I was, almost hitting a police officer in front of me. Yes, I had the truck in reverse but went forward. I slammed on the brake, if I hadn’t, that would not have been good. This weird scenario doesn’t usually happen, but you never know; just be cautious of your surroundings, and if you’re driving an older vehicle, make sure to fully put it into in the right gear.

Driving is a fun experience for us college students, but to make it an even better experience, use caution and safety. Never freak out, stay calm. Have your phone on you just in case of any emergencies; however, never text and drive—you can most likely anticipate what the text you’re expecting is going to read. As students, let’s work hard and we’re all likely to be rewarded with driving when we go back home in two weeks!