clear the roads...


New member
wheelmonkey passed his drivers written test, and now holds his Learner's Permit.

took him out driving at the local (and mostly vacant) ballfield parking lot, then the adjoining regional park... did well - but very tentative.

this will be a fun learning experience. we actually had an open gravel area where I gave him a chance to feel what loose surfaces feel like... traded spots and showed him what torque steer is (fwd HHR)...

small steps, going back to the park and ballfield lot a whole lot more before we try the subdivision streets in our neighborhood.

proud moment for me and his mom, he's very happy.

the 98 TJ Wrangler arrives on Friday afternoon for a look and testdrive.... probably wont be leaving.
Practicing in a parking lot is a great idea. When I had my towing business and broke in a new driver, I made them hook up a car and back it all over the parking lot and into parking spots from all different angle for several days before they were allowed on the road. Nothing but backing. My drivers could back a car into places no other tow companies could get into.
My son BB is turning 15 Sat. and we are going to take him to get his learners too. Best of luck to you and we will be praying a lot when they do hit the road….Now he can drive back home while we sleep coming back from the races….LOL…one eye shut and one eye open.
Yes I have been there lots of fun.the best thing for me was out of the 3 my youngest raced karts
and she was like it's like driving my kart but bigger lol.she drove like she was doing it for years.
the other two WELLLLLLL lets just say I had to change my lol
You're doing great by taking him out for practice in a controlled environment. I want to share some tidbits that you may or may not already be on top of:

Don't swerve out of the road to miss animals. Often the accident and injury are far worse from losing control of the vehicle than if the vehicle had struck the animal. This goes for everything up through deer size. Above deer size then maybe swerving is necessary, but maintain control.

Don't "over correct". Most fatal accidents for young people in single vehicle, no-alcohol accidents is what is mistakenly called the "over correction". The vehicle runs off the right side of the road a little and the driver jerks the wheel the other way, losing control and sending the vehicle to the left side of the road and usually leaving the roadway. This often leads to flipping the car or striking a tree or another object, perhaps even an oncoming car. I think the best idea is to take a young driver out and make them run the car off the side of the road so they can learn what it feels like and how to not panic. This is definitely something where at a low speed you want to introduce this situation to the new driver. It might save their life some day.

Other than that, situational awareness, bordering paranoia, about the traffic around them. Most karters have this anyway, but the ability to notice a bad situation and avoid it is important on the highway.

If Sterling, VA is lucky enough to get some snow or ice this winter, take the wheel monkey to a parking lot for some fun AND education. Again, this is another case where a karter knows what low grip is and how to respond and react. The average youngster has no clue.
Like most other subjects, I have some definate opinions about driver's education. First of all, I believe new drivers should be taught to drive with manual transmissions. It makes better drivers, as I think they have to be more in tune with the vehicle. I agree with Road Dog that it would be a plus to be able to learn more car control. I think that methods and equipment used in performance driving schools could be utilized, such as "wet track" areas with controlled conditions. Far too many drivers, young and old alike, fall into a panic situation when confronted with less than ideal conditions, like running off the road or reduced traction. Our young people that race karts, especially on dirt, have a leg up on their non-racer classmates in this respect. Racing teaches us to look farther than the nose of our vehicle and to be able to almost predict what is coming up. A classroom isn't the ideal environment to teach these concepts- we have to be hands-on. Before someone jumps on me about how to fund this new training, indulge me for a moment. Motorsports also teaches racers how to fund their habits, and illicit sponsorship dollars. It should be no trouble at all to be get auto insurance companies on board to help sponsor programs, as it would be a tax break for them, while also producing better drivers, a real "win-win" proposition. Our young people are our largest investments, our future, and our hearts. We should care enough about them to properly equip them for the world ahead of them. Dave, thanks for taking the time to teach your kids the right way to do things.
Another thing: Basic maintenance and repair!

I don't even have kids yet but when I do and they are old enough for a learner's permit I hope to have already taught them how to change a tire, check all of the fluids, change a battery, find a blown fuse, etc. What good is carrying around a spare tire, scissor jack, and lug wrench if the driver doesn't know how to access the spare tire and change a tire SAFELY? Also, remind them to check air pressure when they check fluids and occasionally check the air pressure in the spare. And knowing where NOT to stop to change a flat tire is equally important. Next to the white line on a highway is NOT ideal, and replacing a damaged rim is worth it for driving slowly to a safe place to do the tire change. Too many victims were just working on their car on the side of the road.

I agree with ONEHARDHEAD above on the manual transmission.
Just got back from the driver place and BB just got his learners this morning…proud of him…time to load up know and head out racing.