About a month ago, my generous grandparents were kind enough to buy me a new car! It's a 2015 Subaru Impreza Sport Limited. It drives very smoothly and is very safe. It has stereoscopic cameras at the top called EyeSight. What does it do? If the car gets too close to an obstacle, it will alert the driver and brake if needed. Pretty cool! It also has all-wheel drive. This is definitely one of the safest cars under $30,000. I definitely recommend it and am glad I have it. Once again, a huge thank you to my grandparents!
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Yesterday, I got my driver's license. So yay for that! I hope you enjoyed my "Roadway to my Driver's License." I had a great instructor and supporting parents throughout the experience. In terms of the future, I intend to write when something eventful happens. Unfortunately, this may mean that the weekly schedule is over. All in all, thank you to all my readers, my instructor, my examiner, my English teacher, and my parents! I couldn't have done it without you guys!
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Sunday, May 31, 2015
If you have an Automatic installed in your car, you can use an Apple Watch to quickly locate where you parked your car and how long it has been parked. This is very useful if you are ever lost in a parking lot or if you are monitoring how long you've been parked at a parking meter. Automatic is available from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link] while the adapter is $99 [Direct Link].
Sunday, May 24, 2015
The driver's test is a strange test. It's a test that you have to drive perfect for just you can never drive like that again. It's also very awkward to have someone sit in your car, tell you what to do, and write stuff down. I failed my first driver's test. Apparently, I wasn't scanning enough, even though I felt I did scan sufficiently. That's part of the hard part. You have to be very animated. The proctor isn't looking at your pupils, just your head. Be sure to exaggerate everything (in a good way).
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Here's a quick list of what you need to bring to a California DMV driver's license test. Be sure not to lose any of these.
- Your learner's permit
- Parent's signature to verify 50 hours of driving practice
- Certificate of completion of behind-the-wheel training (typically orange)
- Certificate of completion of driver's ed (pink for online and blue for classroom)
- Proof of registration for vehicle
- Proof of insurance for vehicle
- Passport or original birth certificate
- Social security card
Sunday, May 10, 2015
If you feel like you need more driving hours, be sure you try driving to your school. I recommend driving earlier to allow for driving the way a student driver should and to avoid stress and accidents. The other day, by leaving early, I missed an accident by minutes. The accident caused so many people to be late to class. Always leave early...
Sunday, May 3, 2015
On my last driving lesson, I was told to slam my foot on the gas and floor it and to not stop until my instructor told me so. Believe it or not, this is a very good skill. It helps in a situation where you're in a blind spot of a large truck and you have nowhere to go but forward. Sometimes the strangest things can be lifesavers...
Sunday, April 26, 2015
I'm not saying I was pulled over yet, but in my last driving lesson, my instructor told me this. So basically, the first thing you want to do is put on your emergency blinkers, acknowledging that you will cooperate with the peace officer. If you're on a freeway, get off of it and go to a side street or parking lot where the peace officer won't get hit easily. Then, after you've pulled over, turn off the engine, put both hands on top of the steering wheel, and lower your window. When asked for your driver's license and registration, calmly say, "Officer, my license is in [location of the license] and my registration is in [location of the registration]. May I get them?" This acknowledges that you will get your license out of the wallet in your back pocket, not a gun. Hopefully, these tips can get you out of a ticket. Maybe I'll write when I get pulled over... That's for another time...
Sunday, April 19, 2015
I had another driving lesson yesterday, and I got to try out something called the Anti-lock braking system, or ABS. It makes a car stop quicker on a dry or slippery surface. It was fun testing it out. I would speed up to 50 MPH on a side street (o_O) and slamming my foot on the brake as hard as possible. It proves essential for wet weather (which rarely happens in my area) needing a hard brake, should I need to.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
One of the situations in driving is a yielding left turn. It's when you stop in the middle of an intersection before turning left to let someone going straight go through first. It's a bit awkward because 75% know what a yielding left turn is. The other 25% will just honk at you. Anyways, those are my thoughts on yielding left turns.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
As my experience grows with driving, the more I can be trusted with an automobile my parents actually care about. Today, I drove a 2014 BMW 328i sedan. I have to say, it's a step up from a 2004 Toyota Corolla. I tried it on the mountain road I talked about two weeks ago and it glided right through that road. I give it a 10/10: Would drive again.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
One of the things about driving is defensive driving. It's somewhat hard to do involuntarily, especially when you're in a rush, and a lot of people don't do it. For example, if you're in the second left lane, you'll turn into the area between the number 2 and 3 lane. It's essentially making a cushion and making room for error. It's the difference between an accident and getting to work on time.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
I just tried out mountain driving yesterday, so I thought I'd give some thoughts on it. It's interesting. Some parts you have to go fast and other times slow. It truly is like a roller coaster. A bit tense, but a lot of fun. Especially if you're the only one out there. I highly recommend practicing on one when you have some free time.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
A great way to get a lot of driving hours is by driving on the weekends. But where to? If you have some sort of class or appointment on the weekends, driving there is a great way to get a few hours consistently. Also, try looking at advertisements from local stores for good deals. Maybe something you like is on sale or your parents need something from the store. Try driving there. When there's nothing to buy, be sure to check if any gift cards are on sale. There's a great app for this. It's called Flipp. You can get it for free on the Apple App Store [Direct Link] and the Google Play Store [Direct Link]. You can learn more about Flipp on my other blog, Tech Talk 4 Geeks.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Here are some quick tips for driving at night. First, it's important to make sure that you don't drive so fast to the point of not being able to stop in time for something coming in the range of your headlights. It's kinda hard to explain, but hopefully you know what I mean. Speaking of headlights, be sure that yours are tuned up and bright. Also, be sure give other people more space at night as your reactions may be more delayed at night, in addition to lower visibility. I hope these tips help you become a better driver!
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Today, I drove in the rain. Here are some of my experiences of driving in the rain. Basically, I found that it's really easy to skid while braking. It's also important not to get caught in a large puddle while at a stoplight. Finally, you should know when to turn on your windshield wipers and what level to put them to. Anyways, those are my experiences in driving in the rain.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Although I'm not even 16 years old yet, my experience with driving goes way back. I recently found this picture of me in a John Deere car that my grandmother bought for me from Toys "R" Us. I'm not sure how old I was, but I want to say that I was about 4 years old. I used to drive it on my grandparent's palm tree nursery. Those were the days...
Monday, February 16, 2015
Today, I tried driving in a Toyota Tundra. Engine-wise, this was a big step up from a 2004 Toyota Corolla. It was a bit different. Just tapping the gas pedal makes it go up to 10 mph. A Tundra makes going up a steep hill look like child's play. Also, there is no hand brake. The emergency brake is down by the pedals. You're up much higher, which gives you a better view of the road. The only other difference I found was the PRNDL switcher was near the dashboard instead of where a hand brake would be. Anyways, those are my first impressions of driving in a truck.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Here's a useful app if you're planning a trip to the DMV anytime soon. It's called the DMV Now app. It lets you take sample written tests, DMV driving videos, and find DMVs near you. Be sure to check it out. It's free and available from the Apple App Store [Direct Link] and the Google Play Store [Direct Link]. Please note that these links are for the California app and features may vary depending on your location.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
If you live anywhere close to where I live, there are many drive-thru restaurants in your area. These are a bit different than normal driving. There are new factors thrown into the mix. Whether it's a bank or a Starbucks, they all have the same simple concept: driving closely to a speaker and microphone, not taking too much time in the drive-thru, and talking to someone. And of course, who could forget the occasional 90° turn. Personally, it's not that hard to pick up, but you do have to make sure you know how to get close to the microphone and speaker box. Anyways, that's my story. Until next time...
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Over these long weekends, you might have nothing to do. If you need way to spend all that free time, try going for a weekend drive. Find a long highway and drive down it for a few hours. In addition to gaining experience and getting a bunch of hours for your license, you also might see some great views. Maybe try driving down the beach if you live near one. Anyways, I got about two-and-a-half hours from one trip. Try it out!
Monday, January 19, 2015
I recently started driving on the freeway, so here are some of my experiences. There are two ways to look at it: it's more stressful because you have to drive at very high speeds, or it's less stressful because you don't have to worry about traffic lights and people coming from other roads. Lane changes for me are a bit hard on the freeway. Maintaining speed is important. You don't slow down by braking, but, for the most part, by letting off the accelerator. Anyways, those are my first impressions of freeway driving.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
When you take your behind-the-wheel lesson, many parents wonder if they should go with their teen on their lesson. The answer is yes, for one big reason. A parent should know how their teenagers drive and get tips from the instructors. This is useful for parents since they'll be with their teen 90% of the time. Anyways, I hope this helps.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
If you need help counting your hours of driving or want a great way to save money on gas, Automatic is the device for you. The Automatic is a device that plugs into the OBD-II port of your car (in every car since 1996). It monitors your driving habits and the times that you drive, making logging driving hours super easy. I hope to do a review on this in the coming weeks, but for now I just wanted to tell you about it. It's available for $99.95.