Seven and Three

Giggles is learning how to drive.

The Husband and I had an understanding and that understanding was that he was teaching the girls how to drive.

He took her out once or so.

Its not his fault due to his crazy work schedule, but due to his crazy schedule I started to feel bad that she wasn’t driving.

Because is all honesty if we waited for him to be able to take her out to get her required driving time in she may be able to get her licence by the time she graduated high school.

At first we drove the car that she will be driving once she gets her licence.

The car is small and the backseat is cramped.

The Chicken is so long and her knees uncomfortably hit the back of the seats.

The Chicken’s doubts and fears were right in my ear, as well as her sister’s.

You know the one learning to drive

It started as a one time thing, her driving my van.

Then she started driving it more and more.

I admit when she first started driving it I had to take my motion sickness medication because she seemed to be all over the road.

She scared me when she would turn to quickly, or when she would accelerate my V6 too fast.

I have since stopped taking my medication when she drives and I find myself having to correct her less and less.

She has confidence behind the wheel, but not too much.

She constantly amazes me at the things she can do.

I can’t believe that my baby is driving on the road, in my van, without much direction.

But no matter how many times I tell her that her hands need to be at Ten and Two they always end up at Seven and Three.

Seven and Three

Photo taken with the Hipstamatic App on my iPhone while she was driving down the road

She’s got some Keys to Safe Driving Now

Exactly two weeks ago Giggles and I set out for the college so that she could participate in the Key to Safe Teen Driving Course sponsored by KeyBank, Mid-Ohio Driving School and Kumho Tires.

This free program is a much appreciated version of the Mid-Ohio Driving Course, but sadly it isn’t very well advertised

I admit I was a bit apprehensive of the fact that I had to sign a bunch of waivers, waivers that said that my car or my child could be seriously injured. I was a bit leery when they told me that I needed to have the car and trunk free of things that could fly around and cause injury and that they had to wear closed toed shoes (because Giggles lives in her flip flops all summer long)

But really, anytime anyone leaves home there is a chance that they or their vehicle will become seriously injured/damaged. You just don’t think about things like that because how many of us would drive as much as we do if we had to sign a waiver each and every time we wanted to leave the house with our cars?

First up was the ‘classroom’ portion of the event. They talked to them about different driving techniques, about your tires, and about statistics that you just don’t hear about.

Twenty Teenagers die EVERY day in a motor vehicle accident and most of those accidents are single car accidents.

The softer your tires are the quicker you are going to stop. Tires that are rated with less mileage on them are going to be softer than ones that are rated to last longer.

IMG_3201

After the classroom portion they showed them what they were going to do with instructors from the school. I have to admit that I was a bit freaked out when I realized that aside from the Skid Car there were not going to be instructors in the vehicles with the students. Especially since Giggles is driving a stick shift and hadn’t had a lot of experience with it to date.

After they showed them what they were going to do they broke them up into two groups. Giggles group (who also had her good friend J. in it) got to get in the skid car first. The instructor told them it would be the most fun they would have driving 10 miles per hour.

IMG_3244

(This is where I admit that I thought they were going way faster than 10 MPH but the instructor assured me it was only 10)

Next up was the quick lane change. They drove through the middle lane and there was a light with arrows in front of them, the light would indicate which lane they needed to get into, while they were driving through the first lane. The told us to expect squeals from tires, smoke, and the occasional cone to get run over.

IMG_3303
(Giggles did not disappoint…see the cone coming out from behind her car?)

IMG_3288
(And the smoke coming out of the front of J’s tires on his car?)

Lastly was the water course, I admit that this one scared me the most. I thought someone was going to hydroplane their way right out of the parking lot and take someone out. (Most of the time I am a glass full kind of gal but when it comes to accidents)

IMG_3317

IMG_3337

Not only would they tell them when to stop, as you can see from above the instructor would talk to them about what they did wrong or right and give them pointers on better do it their next turn. And it wasn’t just the water course instructor, all the of the instructors talked with the kids, encouraged them, and really made them feel comfortable and didn’t expect them to know how to drive or how to handle certain situations.

Would I recommend this course to others? Not only would I recommend it, I think our teens should be required to take a course like this. I am definitely looking into where I am sending Giggles for Driver’s Ed and Mid-Ohio is definitely at the top of our list.

Now the course free course for the Cleveland area is done for this year but it is still traveling around to Columbus, Toledo and Indianapolis.

They will be in Columbus on July 14 and 15
They will be in Toledo on July 21 and 22
They will be in Indianapolis July 28 and 29

If the course is sold out in your area PLEASE call the 1800 number to get on the wait list and if you can still sign up, it is WELL worth it! She is already much more confident behind the wheel after those 3 hours of instruction with Mid-Ohio. And I am much more confident with her on the road as well.

FCC Disclosure: This was a free program that I was asked to participate in by Key Bank and give my honest review. I was not compensated for my time and aside from the extra goodie bag that we got because there were extras I got nothing but peace of mind and great instruction for my learning to drive daughter in return. But if its a problem I can totally give back the red hat and lanyard, because red totally isn’t my color anyways.

Fifteen and a Half

It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating her birthday and now Giggles is celebrating a whole new milestone.

She is now a Learner’s Permit Holder.

Fifteen and a Half

Things are different than when I got my learner’s permit. For one thing, you didn’t get a fancy smancy license, you just got a piece of paper. You also had to wait until you were 16 years old, instead of the 15 years 6 months.

Back when I learned to drive, Driver’s Ed wasn’t mandatory. Today it is mandatory, along with 50 hours of behind the wheel time.

So not only will she be taking Driver’s Ed, which also costs A LOT more than it used to. She will be taking an online course through our insurance agency to get the good rates and any other safe driving courses we can fit in there.

Which is why when Key Bank emailed me and asked if I would like to have Alexis participate in their Key to Safe Teen Driving Course, I was all over it!

From the Website
Teens will participate in a condensed version of The Mid-Ohio School’s popular Honda Teen Defensive Driving Program. Each student will receive classroom instruction and the chance to practice wet braking and emergency lane change maneuvers in their own vehicles under the guidance of The Mid-Ohio School’s expert instructors. The highlight of the day will be driving the Honda Civic Skid Car, which simulates driving in wet or icy conditions.

While this course is free and open to the public, slots are limited. I am giving away one slot to a winner (in case you don’t register before they fill up) for their teen driver to take this course. But please do not hesitate to sign up as I am sure that it will be a very educational day and who wouldn’t want to drive the Honda Civic Skid Car.

Disclosure: I was approached by Key Bank to see if I was interested in registering my daughter for this free class and promoting it through my blog. There was no monetary compensation given, I am just sharing the information so that we can have as many safe drivers on the road as possible. You do like when the roads are safer, don’t you FCC?