Learning to drive is one of the most exciting and eye opening experiences an impressionable teenager can have. The process teaches a person about more than just how to signal for a lane change and come to a complete stop at a stop sign; it offers life lessons that far transcend the asphalt.
- Listen to Your Parents
While you probably don’t like to admit it, your parents are usually right. This is especially true when it comes to driving. Your parents have likely been driving for 20, 30, or even 40 years, so listen up and take their advice. As you grow older, you will understand that your parents are right about a lot of things. Sometimes learning to drive can be the process that turns you on to this truth.
- Commitment Means Something
There is no place for faulty commitment on the road. Once you commit to making a turn or letting someone change lanes in front of you, there’s no turning back. Driving takes your full commitment, and you will pay the price if you don’t follow through. The same is true in life. When you make a commitment, there will be consequences if you don’t live up to it. Pick the road you want to travel down, and stick to it.
- Stay Focused
There is much to be said for focus. It seems as if the people with the most focus are also the most successful. In life, there are distractions at every turn, and you have to learn to focus on the task at hand. On the road, distractions can get you killed. When you are behind the wheel, you will learn the importance of staying alert and blocking out distractions that don’t matter.
- Don’t Panic
Just like life, driving is full of stressful moments. The key is to never lose control in the midst of stress. Whether you are driving through a thunderstorm on the highway or dealing with a family crisis, learning how to slow down and assess the situation will help you immensely. There is always a way out, and panicking won’t get you very far.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Driving isn’t as easy as it looks at first glance. While anyone can do it, it takes practice and patience to be a safe driver. It also takes practice to even get your learner’s permit in the first place (don’t be the kid who fails the learner’s permit test). You’ll need to spend time learning how to park, how to back up, and how to obey traffic laws. The more you practice, the better you’ll get, and you have to be patient with yourself in the process. If you fail, you try again. The same is true in life. Practice makes perfect, and you can’t give up after one try.
- People Take Different Roads
Everyone has his or her own way of doing things, and what works for one person may not work for the next. Just because you take the interstate to work doesn’t mean everyone should. One person may prefer the back roads, because he or she isn’t comfortable with rush hour traffic. Life is full of different roads, and everyone has his or her own preferred path. Driving will teach you that everyone is different, and you shouldn’t judge people for taking their own path.
- Search for Signs
If you’ve ever driven on a road you aren’t familiar with, you know the feeling of looking for a sign. You’re looking for anything that will tell you where you are. Maybe it’s a billboard, a road sign, or a landmark. In life, you will often find yourself in places with which you aren’t familiar. You’ll rely on your ability to find signs and interpret them. When you learn to drive, make sure you learn how to think for yourself.
Image source: cdc.gov (public domain)