If you have a young male driver in your household chances are he is going to receive a few speeding tickets and get into more than a few accidents. Hopefully he will never be in need of an auto body repair shop in Salt Lake City or Washington DC. But he probably will. I know this because I was once a young male driver myself.
When I took my driver’s license exam I did not pass my first time around. I can remember passing the written portion and feeling pretty good about that. But when I went out for my road test I accidentally ran a red light. I remember asking the instructor, “Does that mean I failed?” He did not answer my question and simply instructed me to return to the Department of Motor Vehicles parking lot. I did as instructed and felt pretty humiliated being around the other people who had passed the exam. Two weeks later I retook the exam and passed. I was extra careful and I remember the instructor once telling me that “the car’s not going to get up the hill by itself.”
Over the years after I got my license I was constantly being issued speeding tickets and getting into minor fender benders. My first speeding ticket was $80 which seemed like a lot of money at the time. I was a high school student in the late 1980s. I remember driving to my girlfriend’s house on a Friday night through a suburban neighborhood and not paying particularly close attention to my speed. The cop was parked on the side of the road and pulled out after me. I remember seeing his light flash in the rear view mirror and feeling a deep sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. Another time I remember driving to pick up a pizza with the radio blasting. I recall looking in the rear view mirror at the one day growth of scruff on my face. When I looked back at the road I ran right into the car in front of me. There were three old ladies inside. Luckily no one was hurt. My car’s front bumper was smashed in and had to be towed away to the collision repair shop in Salt Lake City.
After those two events I learned to be more cautions and pay better attention when I drove. As a result my tickets and accidents dramatically decreased in number. I suppose the take home message is to impress upon the young male driver in your household the importance of paying close attention when he is new to the road.