I learned how to drive when I turned 18 and my dad decided he was going to give me a car for passing in first place on the entrance exam for the three best universities in our town! He also decided he was going to teach me how to drive!
These are moments I will never forget, we would get up early in the morning, 5am, we would get the car out of the garage which had a 90 degree incline and a very narrow space to park the car. Side note: the cars in Brazil do not have automatic transmissions.
So here we go, early in the morning! First time we came back in the garage, I zoomed through the pillars so fast, as an engineer, his brain was calculating what would happen if I knocked one of them down! He was chanting: poste/pilastra, poste/pilastra, which in Portuguese, means pillar/column, pillar/column, every time I avoided hitting one!
Another great story I have, was after 3 months of teaching me, he decided that I was ready for a longer trip and took me for a longer ride to a beach 1 hour from my grandad’s. Note: The only access to the beach was via a narrow, meaning very very narrow falling apart wooden bridge, which you had to pass slowly and carefully. I exceeded the speed limit all the way there and passed through the bridge doing 70 miles per hour! My dad almost had a heart attack and after we passed, two boards fell into the river.
Not the end of my adventure! I was driving back, and a vulture decided to fly into the car, seriously? How many of you have had a vulture in front of you driving 70 miles per hour? I did! He flew into the car, smashed into the grill and the car smelled like skunk for four weeks! A total Instagram moment!!!! That was when my dad decided to take the wheel!
He started to teach me safety tips and we would drive in the parking lot only, until I learned the importance of being cautious, obeying the speed limit and of course, the most important lesson: not hitting vultures anymore!!!!
After a few months, I took my drivers license test and passed and never had a ticket to this day, 27 years later! 10 years later I took the test here, passed and never had a ticket since.
I cherish those moments and the trust, patience, my dad placed in me! The other day I was sharing my stories with my husband and son, those are memories I will carry dearly, for the rest of my life!
I told my son I will assign a school to help him, but every day I’m in the car with him or when we visit car shows, I show him my love for cars, the importance of taking care of the car and being a safe driver.
He is almost 6 feet tall and was sitting on the driver’s seat the other day, even though he’s not ready to learn, I observed him and his curiosity and promised myself, after he gets the permit, I will too, take him for early morning drives and will share those moments with him, which will hopefully guide his journey of being a safe driver.
If your child is ready, check out Toyota Teen safe driving clinic program: http://bit.ly/1nfUJ0e. It’s a great resource for parents who want to get started!
I can’t wait to go car shopping with him!
How about you? Share your first driving experience! Any fun stories like mine? Can’t wait to hear it!