Post by Bad Drivers of Columbus, GA on Apr 3, 2014 8:55:22 GMT -5
The driving test was the easiest thing ever (I took it 6 years ago). Granted I am someone that's more inclined to cars than the average person, but regardless of that it's still easy. I took the test in my mom's 2000 Expedition, so not a small car. I had no problems with parallel parking and maneuvering and what not. Here in GA you're required to take a driving class and 6 hours of driving instruction before you get your license. You're also supposed to have like 40 hours of driving before you get your license. You also can't drive with anyone under 25 (I think) for the first 6 months.
I completely support harder and more comprehensive driving tests. I honestly wonder how a majority of people here passed their driver's test, but it's because it's too easy.
I don't know what Virginia's tests are like today. I took the road test in May 1989. The DMV branch I went to used a route that was well-known to everyone in my high school, so I went with my mom a few days in advance and scouted it out. It involved about a two-mile loop through a trailer park where the speed limit was 15 mph. For the test I used my mom's car, which was an automatic, rather than my dad's manual even though I drove the manual more often. Reason was simple—one less thing to screw up. As soon as I hit the 15-mph zone I downshifted the thing into first gear so I couldn't get dinged for speeding.
I don't think that DMV office still exists. Even if it did, their road test route would be different because the trailer park is long gone. The land was simply too valuable for that sort of use.
Parallel parking has never been part of the test in Virginia. I taught myself to parallel park when I was in college. Nowadays I get annoyed if it takes me more than two maneuvers. But I get more annoyed at people who never learned at all and who don't realize that when you have your blinker on and your backup lights illuminated, it means you're going to parallel park. All too often around here some dumbass will come up behind you as you're about to try to park and then you're stuck until they go around or back up.
I DID have to re-take the knowledge test in 2003 after receiving two moving violations during 1999. It had changed in that back in 1989 it was on a piece of paper and they marked it by hand, whereas in 2003 it was on a computer terminal and it stopped the test once you were mathematically unable to fail. But it was still multiple-choice. I will admit I did review the driver's handbook before going to take that test because I knew they might ask about things like default speed limits in commercial areas and such.
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I will admit I did review the driver's handbook before going to take that test because I knew they might ask about things like default speed limits in commercial areas and such.
It's definitely not a bad idea to look in a driver's handbook because there are some things that you either rarely encounter or just don't even realize even if you're a good driver. Like I just recently learned that you can turn right on red from the 2nd lane over if there are two right turn lanes as long as there aren't any signs saying you can't - I was never really sure of that. And you can turn left onto a one-way street from a one-way street on a red.
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PRR Tips to help you become a Driving Pro.
1) Don't wobble in a lane or hug a line, keep centered and steady. Being a predictable driver will save you from a collision.
2) Don't accelerate or decelerate quickly, smooth transitions help everyone including passengers.
3) Stay back from pedestrian crosswalks. It helps other motorists see the pedestrians, i.e. stop at that stop line.
4) Check around the pillars of your vehicle when turning. You might think it's clear only to be surprised by a pedestrian 'hidiing' behind your pillar.
5) When turning a corner, don't cut the on-coming lane. Imagine a quarter circle and make that your path. Being a pro means you don't need to correct your position after the turn to center yourself in the lane.
6) Always use your turn signal whenever changing out of your lane, and give that signal at least a second or two to alert others before actually turning. Too often people think that the signal isn't necessary. Those people should stop thinking what others need from them. Others, whether peds, bicyclists or other vehicles need to see what you are about to do to save themselves from a collision... so use that signal.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Pro Tips:
1) Walking or riding? Well look both ways even if you have a light. Do you really trust your life to a stranger and whatever condition or distraction they are dealing with? Don't assume they see the light or stop sign. After all, they have an entire vehicle to protect them, you don't.
2) Don't step off a curb without looking. Busses and electric vehicles (bicycles too) do not warn people of their approach with sound as there is very little sound generated by their movement or engines.
3) Practice good habits so that if you're ever distracted you'll more likely employ the good habit at the critical time you need it, to save your life.
4) It's called a crosswalk because you should always walk. If you're riding and want to use a crosswalk, dismount and walk. Walking gives drivers the chance to see you and stop if necessary. Darting across eliminates this important buffer.
5) Setting good examples will show children how to behave near a road, and in effect you will be saving their lives... so be a hero and save lives through your example!