I’ve never played sports in school, I’m too much of a clutz. However, I did have one of our coaches as a Driver’s Ed teacher.
I started driving farm equipment at about the age of twelve. When I took Driver’s Ed as a senior in high school, I was very confident behind the wheel. I thought I was a pretty good driver, but he begged to differ, and he was right.
There was one other senior in the class, and she had never driven anything on four wheels. We practiced in the bus lot first, then I had a turn. When we were pulling out of the school driveway, he grabbed the wheel just in time to prevent me from colliding with a tractor trailer.
I drove to a local shopping center, and we changed drivers. Let us say that I will *never* forget that expedition. I was glad those were the special cars that had a master brake in the passenger’s seat. I thought we were going to die.
Over the course, we had many practice sessions. Coach quietly imbued confidence in my classmate and managed to convince me that I didn’t know everything, and without me being offended. That is quite an accomplishment, believe me.
There are many sayings he used to help us to become both safe and courteous drivers. One that I have drilled into our daughters is “don’t be dead right.” Yes, you may have the right of way, but avoiding an accident is an imperative, even if it means you have to yield to someone who either doesn’t know the rules or doesn’t care.
In my home state, there is a great need to convince young drivers to understand about driving in all conditions. Black ice, twisty roads and new drivers are not a good mix without that emphasis. I remember this term, because it was impressed on us so well.
The speed limit signs are not the last word on how fast you should be driving. Under a statute called prima fascia, if you are going faster than the conditions allow, you can still get a ticket, and it will stand in court.
Thank you, Coach LeMaster. Without that training, I would definitely not be as good a driver today.