In celebration of the end of a busy semester and the beginning of winter break, I went out for some crazy, mad partying!! Wait, no I didn't. I went to traffic school to erase the ticket I got for totalling my car a month ago. At one point I felt like I was in some addiction help group. We got into small groups, introduced ourselves, and told "our story". "Hi, my name is Parisa... and I got into a fender bender because... because... I'm a tailgater. Oh, the weight has been lifted!" Anyways, all things considered, it was a painless experience. Our instrutor was very kind, and made what would otherwise be four hours of total boredom pretty enjoyable.
The class included three short videos featuring a bunch of careless drivers (examples of what we should strive to NOT be) with such choice quotes as, "Yeah, I know it's [drunk driving] bad so I don't do it. Especially after hard alcohol. I mean, I'm fine after beer, but I know better than to drive after the hard stuff," and "Dawg, it don't make sense. Why would they make a car that can go 120 mph if we are only supposed to be going 55 mph. They're out to trick us."
When we were going over the topic of driving conditions and sleep deprivation, Todd, the semi truck driver, offered the energy-boosting suggestion of, "Whenever I get tired after a few hours on the road, I pull out some Colgate and start brushing my teeth. It keeps me up for at least another two hours and keeps my breath fresh too." My instructor reminded us that it's never a good idea to "drink, drive, and be nude," as evidenced by two recent incidents of people getting into head-on collisions while in the middle of sexual acts. And then, someone commented that on p. 15 of our Defensive Driving Coursebook ("Drugs and Their Effects on Driving", a chart describing main drug types and their effects on driving behavior), the authors left out some "really cool drugs" in their analysis. Hopefully some of these additions will make their way into the new version of the safety book for 2006. Until then, you'll just have to remember to bring toothpaste while driving on your own.