Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Defensive Driving
Matt Seinberg

I remember taking Drivers Education when I was sixteen in the summer between 11th and 12th grades. We had it every day for three or four hours, for what I think was two or three weeks. It wasn't a hard course and the instructors were good.

The hardest part was sitting in the back seat when someone else was driving and she or he weren't good. It could be quite nerve racking, especially when the instructor is holding on for dear life, in the front seat.


"I had an idea of what safety features belonged on a car.

Part of the final exam was designing a car with as many safety features as we could think of, and since I read many car magazines, I had a good idea of what belonged on them. I also drew a design of my car, and I passed the class with an A.

We've all had car accidents at one time or another or got some sort of moving violation ticket, from the police. My first accident was a stupid one. I was pulling our big Chevy Impala out of a spot, at our local McDonalds; "somehow" I scrapped the front bumper all along the side of the car next to me.

I started to drive off as if nothing happened, with that driver running after me as if I killed someone. I ended up calling my father, who was rather understanding of what happened. I thought he would go nuts and ground me for like, forever.


After age thirty, Defensive Driving courses are mandatory.

Once we get past the age of thirty or so, we "have to" take a Defensive Driving course, which reduces points on the license and more importantly gives a discount on the car insurance.

These classes are one hour long and there are six. Each one is as boring as watching grass grow or paint dry. Although the instructors try to be entertaining, they only have so much leeway, as there is always a "plant" in the class, writing a report of what they do.

I had different instructors over the years and none of them was entertaining enough to make me enjoy the class. Three years ago, Marcy and I got lucky. Our insurance agent offered the class and all we had to do was pay for it, not actually show up!

I had to call the agent this week because my rate went up the last two months, and I wanted to know why. Both of our defensive driving certificates had expired and we lost the discount. The sucky part is that the agent no longer offers the class. I'm guessing he may have been caught with the no shows and low attendance.


AARP offers Defensive Driving courses on-line, at a discount, too.

I went to the AARP website, as I know they offer the classes. Not only was there a discount available, I found a 30% off coupon code. The on-line class will cost me all of $18; that’s sweet, considering the last couple were around $40 each.

I started the class last night, and it's even more boring than I remember. There are two actors giving the presentation, but in the form of photos and narration, not performing. There are other actual videos spaced throughout the presentation.

There are six portions to the class; so far, I've made it through Part 1 and most of Part 2. I'm sure people have fallen asleep on the computer keyboard from boredom.

Please, let me get through this without falling asleep at the wheel. Oh, wait, that’s a Texas dance band, “Asleep at the Wheel.”

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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