Driving on the Freeway: A Guide for Teens

a speed limit sign (funny)“There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” is a famous quote from a great man. Although much of his greatness came from the fact that his middle name was Delano, which struck both admiration and fear in the hearts of his opponents, this quote still rings true.

However, this quote is also one of the most misinterpreted quotes of all time. People like to say this means that you only need to fear the emotion of fear. They, however, are wrong.

What FDR was actually saying was: “There is nothing to fear – but fear itself.” Now, instead of telling you to only fear the emotion, this quote tells you to be very afraid of ‘itself.’ That’s where I come in.

You see, having been blessed with a time-travel-read-minds ability, I can tell you that Mr. Roosevelt meant for ‘itself’ to refer to freeway driving. He changed that to ‘itself,’ an ambiguous pronoun, only because his speechwriters thought that freeway driving was too much of a polar issue.

Even today, this quote rings true for most teens. I mean, here you are, learning how to drive, scared of hitting people, cars, and squirrels, when you suddenly find out about the freeway.

Your first impression of the freeway can make it seem a bit daunting. Your second impression of the freeway will scare you more than the word ‘Delano’. This is because driving on the freeway means:

  • You have to go really fast
  • You have to change lanes while going really fast
  • You have to avoid hitting other cars while changing lanes and going really fast
  • You have to be surrounded by other cars going really fast and changing lanes as you try to change lanes while going really fast
  • You have to go really fast

The freeway can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be, if you follow this advice.

Avoid Traffic

One of the main factors of how scared freeway driving will make inexperienced teen drivers like yourself is the number of cars on the road. More cars=more things to hit or be hit by.

The easy solution, then, is to avoid times when cars are usually on the freeway! Some great times to drive with little or no traffic include between the hours of 10PM-5AM on weekdays and 3AM-10AM on weekends. Just plan ahead so you get to your destination on time. Another great time to drive is when the freeway is closed for roadwork, because then you’ll be the only car on the road.

Avoid Trucks

Trucks can also strike fear into your heart. After all, they are huge, block your vision, and can’t stop quickly. Not to mention that trucks weigh so much that if they accidentally flattened your car the driver would not notice. At most, he’d figure that he’d hit a pothole. Meanwhile, you’d now be two dimensional, or one-dimensional in worst-case scenarios.

A great way to avoid trucks is to post a sign at the exit right before you get on the freeway that says, “EXIT 34: FREE FOOD FOR ALL TRUCK DRIVERS.” Also, you can just drive a very low car, like a sports convertible, so you can drive under the trucks and not have to worry about being crushed.

Avoid Lanes

Lane changes. Normally a pain, they become horrific on the freeway. You are supposed to check your mirrors, look behind you, signal, and check your mirrors again, all while you are supposed to be looking forward and not hitting anything.

So, the easiest way to avoid lane changes is to avoid lanes. Only drive on the freeway if you are in the middle of the country where many freeways have only one lane. Otherwise…

Avoid the Freeway

The easiest way to avoid being scared of freeway driving is not driving on the freeway. Duh. That’s why Google Maps was invented, to help teens everywhere find alternative routes. Who cares that the estimated travel time takes an extra four hours? At least you’ll have a normal heart rate when you arrive.

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