She's Got a Permit and She's Not Afraid to Use It

Attention road warriors on the way to the high school in the mornings:

Just an FYI, the little black Prius that your normally see - you know, the one with the sign on it that says PULL OUT IN FRONT OF ME, I WON’T MIND. JUST SWERVE ON IN THERE. CUT ME OFF, IT’S FINE. REALLY. Yeah, well you won’t be seeing that anymore. This year, I’m leaving the Prius at home and letting my daughter drive the Pilot into school, to give her some practice for when she gets her license and can drive her own self to school.

Don’t be fooled by the pastel blue Pilot. It may look like an oversized baby shower gift,  but with my daughter behind the wheel, you’re going to want to watch it. She has observed, from the passenger seat, three years of her mom avoiding accidents by letting assclowns wedge their way into line, inches from her front bumper. And unlike her mother, she doesn’t care if she gets to school late because she had to stay to give a police statement as to why she rear-ended that white pickup truck. Again.

My daughter’s attitude about defensive driving is typical of her generation.

“Now you’re going to want to slow down here, because people are always pulling out right into traffic,” I tell her as we’re tooling along Indiantown Road.

She doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t slow down either. I know what she’s thinking: I have the right-of-way. If there’s an accident, it’ll be his fault. It’s high time one of these reckless drivers gets into a fender bender anyway.

She’s right, but I fear for the residents of South Florida when she and her generation all have their driver’s licenses and take their entitled attitudes on the road.

I’ve said this before (specifically in a blog a few years ago when my son was a new driver), but it bears repeating:

“I don’t want to scare you, but I’ve got to share this thought, just to spread the panic. Take the size of your town or your big neighborhood, your school district, whatever, and think about how many high school sophomores there are in your high school. There are, what, 200? 300? Maybe 500? If there are 365 days in a year, then you can figure that somewhere around, oh, say, every single day, there’s a kid who lives near you that is turning 16 and getting his driver’s permit. Which means that roughly around every single day there’s a kid getting behind the wheel for the first time, his mother clutching the dashboard next to him, her foot firmly planted on the invisible passenger-side brake pedal, her eyes squinted and her mouth in a large “O” shape. If the windows were open you’d hear some shrieks and squeals, a couple of “Woah! Woah!”s and maybe some “Agghhhhhckckckckk!”s

Makes you want to stay home, doesn’t it? To avoid being on the road with that kid, yes. But also to avoid being in any checkout lines with that mom.”

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