Monday, March 3, 2008

The Need for Speed

Rachel has a lead foot. I don't know that there's anything I can say to get her to slow down. I'm afraid there's a speeding ticket or worse in her future. I hope not. There's a hilly, twisty road a few blocks from home with a posted speed of 30 but for the most part people drive maybe 25. Rachel brought it right up to 30 tonight on that section and I asked her why she was driving so fast. She said "the speed limit is 30". "Yes, I know but it doesn't mean you have to go that fast." A mile later she was turning out onto a more traveled road with a posted speed of 40. There was a large spot of ice covering half the lane as she pulled out and she got the car sliding about 30 degrees to the right before backing off the gas and straightening it out. She nearly hit the curb. I know it wasn't a necessary question to ask but I asked it anyway..."what do you suppose happened there?" "I was giving it too much gas." Not more than a mile later she was doing 45 in a 40. I'm at a loss. She wasn't happy with me pointing out her speeding but that's too bad. This is too important.

I mentioned to Tammy how Rachel did tonight and she said she'd have a talk with her as well. She picked her up from dance class and from what I gather the talk didn't go so well. She's not at all open to our criticism and that's not a good thing. Rachel is a self starter and responsible person in every other aspect of her life so I'm sure it's not easy when we're getting on her the way we are. But we have to.

I don't remember getting much instruction from my parents when it came to driving. My dad would take us kids to the school parking lot for our first taste of behind the wheel. That was maybe a year or two before we got our permit. I suppose it was something to wet our appetite for driving...like I needed that. We did a bit of behind the wheel together once I got my permit but I don't think it amounted to much. Back then there wasn't nearly the amount of traffic we have now. I grew up in Bloomington and if I could go back in time I'm sure it would seem very tame compared to how much traffic is out there today...and it's moving faster than ever.

I remember being a newly licensed driver with a car full of friends on a Friday night driving out on some back road near Eden Prairie. I was having a great time in my folks' Country Squire, 390 station wagon (similar to this one) with room to easily carry the six or seven of us. I don't recall what I was looking at but I remember hearing Nancy Johnson from the back seat yell, "Kevin, are you gonna stop?" I was doing all of 55 when I looked up and saw a stop sign getting closer by the second. I slammed on the brakes and got the car stopped but just barely. It absolutely shook me up and looking back on it I was thankful for the lesson. I think a lot of us can relate to a close call we'll never forget and the lesson learned through it.

I know that Rachel too will have her own experiences out there which she'll learn from. I'd rather that she could simply learn from what I'm trying to convey to her instead but that would be too easy. There is going to be a lot of prayer following her when she gets her license in a couple weeks. Maybe a speeding ticket wouldn't be so bad after all if that's what it takes to slow her down. We'll see.

1 comment:

John said...

Here in the Ozarks there are a lot of hilly, winding country roads and way too many single car accidents involving teens. Recently a car load of four high school students were killed from an accident caused by excessive speed. They were hill topping(high speed on a washboard road) when they had a blow out and went off the road and into a tree.

Last spring I took the opportunity that a highway patrolman gave me and showed my kids how much a speeding ticket was going to cost ME! ($130) I assured them that they would have to pay their own tickets. They could pay me back...but no driving until then!

Good luck with Rachel.