Sunday, October 26, 2014

Making an Appointment at the DMV for Your Permit Test

Today, I'd like to make a little update on my progress in the "Roadway to my Driver's License". I have scheduled my appointment for my permit test at the DMV. I did this about a month before I turn fifteen and a half. This is the appointment where you will take your permit test, get your permit, and get your eternal fear of the DMV. Here's what you need to know:

How to Make Your Appointment

What You'll Need

  • To be at least 15 ½, while under 18
  • To have taken driver's ed
    • Your DL 44 from driver's ed
      • Your social security number on the DL 44
      • Both parents' or guardians' signature on the DL 44
  • Your original birth certificate

What You'll Do

  • Give a thumb print
  • Have your picture taken
    • Good luck. No do overs!
  • Pay an application fee
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Take a traffic laws and sign test
Anyways, about a month before you plan to get your permit, you should schedule your appointment. Study up on test material before your test. In addition, be sure you have your DL 44 still. It should also be noted that you won't be able to drive with your permit without taking two hours of behind-the-wheel training after your permit test. In addition, you can't drive without a licensed driver over the age of twenty-five. That's your next step to your driver's license!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Texting and Driving Simulator

With texting and driving becoming a quickly escalating issue, you might wonder, "What is texting and driving really like?" Well, some folks at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have teamed up with AT&T to create the Texting and Driving Simulator! It uses your phone as- well, your phone and your computer screen as your car window. You drive using your keyboard and attempt to get as far as possible while not crashing.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, there's another twist. Throughout the drive, you'll receive text messages from various (programmed) people. At the same time, you must regulate speed, pay attention to traffic signals, look out for other cars, and follow your GPS.

Not so easy now, is it? This simulation is a true eye-opener. It shows just how hard texting and driving really is. After you've crashed, a text message will appear with about a paragraph of text. It's a story of someone who had their life taken away or crucially injured because of texting and driving. It truly does show how a few letters can change your life forever.

Now it's your turn to get behind the keyboard. To get started, head on over to and get out your phone. Click the green "Start Simulator" button and type in your email. Then, on your phone, find the email, and click the link inside of it. This syncs your computer to your phone so you can receive text messages while driving. Be sure to have your volume up. Then, hit the road with your keyboard!

Now that you've played it, what do you think? Does this show you how hard texting while driving is? Does it make you rethink what texting and driving is? I hope so...

I hope you've learned about the dangers of texting and driving. Don't think of the simulator as a game, but as a lesson. If you need to send a text message pull over. Remember, you're not just endangering yourself when you text and drive, but you're endangering your passengers, any pedestrians, and drivers around you.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tim Boice

When you think of a driver's ed instructor, what kind of person do you think of? Not a quadriplegic. Do you remember the name of your driver's ed teacher? Did he/she make an impact on you? I didn't think so. Tim Boice is a different driver's ed teacher because he had to go through a traumatic, life-changing experience. He puts an impact on his students and gives them a "reverential fear of the road." This is his story...

The year was 1981. Just after 16 year-old Tim Boice had gotten his driver's license, he went to a Chargers game with his friend (who was the driver) in VW Bug (Remember those?). On the way back, they got into a rollover crash. The thing was, Tim wasn't even wearing a seatbelt. In an instant, his whole life was changed forever. It left him a quadriplegic. He couldn't run, walk, or ride a bike.

The aftermath was pretty bad. He couldn't go to school for the rest of the school year and had a tutor to teach him instead. Combine the tutor with Tim's hospital bills and his wheelchair and you'll find his father working super hard just to pay them off. His mother had to stop everything that she did to take care of Tim.

Thirty-three years later, Tim is still unable to walk. He has spent much more than half of his life in a wheelchair. He teaches today's drivers the mistake he made in the past and how such as simple decision changed his life. 

He can still drive using his modified Dodge Caravan. He uses an automated ramp to get into it, then drives his wheelchair where the driver's seat would be, where the wheelchair is locked into place. He uses a variety of levers to drive the vehicle. One of the levers controls the gas and brakes, while another turns the key. Unfortunately, he needs somebody else to fill up his tank at a gas station.

I had Tim Boice as a driver's ed instructor a few months back and he has left a lasting impact on me. In fifty years, I will probably be able to recall his name. I will be able to tell what he has taught me. Most importantly, I will be able to remember the mistake he made when he was young and know not to make the same mistake. Thank you Mr. Boice!

Image Credit: ISSUU

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Consequences: Unlicensed Driving

Many of the accidents that occur today while driving are completely preventable. And by preventable, I'm not talking about using better reflexes or hitting the brakes at the wrong time. I'm talking about decisions. The reason why I am picking this story is because it happened last week. That's how often and relevant these things are. So before you say "I'd never do something as crazy as these kids" just remember, they probably said the same thing too at one point. Each car crash that occurs in the real world has it's own story. Just as an FYI, this is pretty sad and deep.

Today, I'm going to talk about the story of a unlicensed teenage boy. He was an average 16 year old. Like any of us, he has his own life, stories, passions, dreams, desires, friends, and family.

So did his five friends...

One Friday night, he took his friends out to an amusement park. He drove them, being the oldest of the group. They stayed up past midnight and left at 2 in the morning.

Fatigued and with little experience on the road, the teen driver couldn't concentrate very well. He ended up crashing his car and it burst into flames. The unlicensed driver managed to escape, but his five friends were killed and burned beyond recognition.

In an instant, five lives were ended because of the actions of one. It was completely preventable. Now, the driver has to live the rest of his life knowing that he killed five of his best friends.

Where did he go wrong? From the very beginning, you shouldn't drive without a driver's license. Even so, in the first year of having a license, you aren't allowed to drive anyone else without someone over age of 25 (who is also licensed). In addition, you aren't allowed to drive between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM. The other mistake was having 6 people in a car with only 5 seat belts. This all could have been prevented by having an adult driver, like his parents.

This story is based on a real story that happened last week. Out of consideration for the friends and families of the victims, I haven't used any names. If you'd like to view the tragic real story, follow this link.

My condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this terrible crash. My thoughts and prayers are with you.