The purpose of driver education is to make Guam a safer place by increasing the quality of newly-licensed drivers. Most experienced drivers will admit they have some bad habits.
Passing these bad habits on to beginner drivers is a recipe for disaster.
Beginner drivers should be taught to adhere to traffic laws, correct safety procedures and all rules of the road. This increases their chances of aquiring a few years of necessary driving experience without incident. Of course, we believe it is a good idea to continue to drive as if safety is the highest priority, even after a student driver is "experienced". (This can be defined as five years of driving experience.)
After all, if you think you are a good enough driver that the rules no longer apply to you, this is what you are communicating to the driving public:
1. I am a good driver, therefore I am willing to bet the lives of those sharing the road with me that I will not make a mistake as I execute this particularly dangerous (and unnecessary) manoever,
2. If I do make a mistake, I will kill you and the small children in your car, but
3. I probably won't make a mistake because I am a "good driver".
As you can see, a "good driver" who has no respect for the rules of the road, traffic laws, or the lives of those around him, is just another terrible driver. At least the beginner driver is trying to do things right!
Good driving is not a function of skill. Basic driving skills are necessary, but mostly pretty easy. Turn right, turn left, etc.
Good driving is a function of good decision making.
Some examples of good driving decisions:
- I will obey traffic laws and rules of the road, for my safety and the safety of others.
- I will remember respect. I know that every stretch of road is some one else's village. I know that no-one wants to die today because I am showing off, overconfident, in a bad mood, or whatever. I know that although I may be legally a child, when I am driving, there are people who are relying on me to behave as an adult.
- I will practice good observation, because good observation allows me the input I need to make a good decision (Can I change lanes, or not? Should I slow down or cover the brake in response to the pedestrian on the roadside? Can I stop at this red light, or is the car behind me going to pile into me if I stop?)
Driving decisions are mostly based on what we see with our eyes.
Good observation = good decisions, provided a careful and respectful attitude is present.
If you are not teaching your young driver these things, someone needs to. If you are teaching them these things, it is good to have a professional driving instructor reinforce your parental message for the long-term safety of the young person you love.
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