The dilemmas of driving a new car

By Cheryl Wagstaff
March 21, 2002

Do you get upset when you are driving and there is somebody in front of you who is either going too slow or perhaps does not know how to drive? I am no exception to the rule, but over spring break I became one of those drivers.

For years now I have been driving a small car that has enough power to speed up the hills of Radnor. Recently my father purchased a sports utility vehicle for me. Not only do I have to acclimate myself to driving a totally different style of car, but I also have to learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission.

Now I find myself in compromising positions in the middle of intersections, going up hills and the worst of all for me getting out of the driveway. Due to this I have found a lost sympathy for other drivers.

My first car did not have enough power to make it over the mountain near my home. The speed limit on the mountain was 40 miles per hour. The most I did in that car was around 30 mph. I would always feel bad for the people who got stuck behind me but after a while I began to get mad at those drivers who were behind me. They would drive so close to my back bumper that I could see that they were upset.

That car did not last me very long. In fact I blew-up the engine of that car trying to go up that very mountain. The replacement may look like my first car but they are totally different. I no longer had any trouble getting up hills or even mountains for that matter.

At first I had a special sympathy for the people in the cars that were in front of me that could not get up the steep hills. That sympathy slowly began to diminish.

Now I am learning to drive a totally different car. I can no longer speed around turns or just take off when the light turns green. The new car does have the power to go up the hills, but I have not yet figured out how to get that power.

Surprisingly, my biggest problem is getting out of the driveway. Up until a few days ago I had to restart the car about five times before I left the driveway. Reverse and first gears are the hardest. Naturally I am having the most trouble with them.

Do not fear I am much better on the road than I am in my driveway. In fact I only have a few problems when driving on the road. However, they are the problems that if I were not in the car having the problems I would be upset with the person in front of me.

It takes me a little longer to get out of the intersection and I make little mistakes here and there.

I wish that I did not have to go out and drive on the roads where there are a lot of people that cannot pass me, but I have to learn how to drive in traffic somehow.

I am still learning how to drive a stick shift. I am convinced that many other people are too. If not there are still many people who are learning to drive for the first time. Or perhaps those people who are in front of you have a car that cannot be driven safely the same way that your car can. Or maybe their car does not have the power to make it up the hills. Have a little more patients when you drive. That person in front of you may just be a horrible driver, but there is also the chance that they have a good excuse to be driving the way that they do

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Cheryl Wagstaff

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