I’ve had my driving permit for about a year and a half now. I got it in Texas with Aiden (who was 15 at the time), and since then, I’ve been practicing driving on and off. Driving has been a journey. There have been ups and downs, and while Aiden grew more and more comfortable driving to bike trails and parks, I mostly avoided it.
Learning in a big truck
Getting used to our truck and being able to position it where I wanted it to go took a while. I would say this was the most difficult part of the process, and I actually still struggle with it to this day. Parking and making my way through a tight area are my least favorite parts of driving.
Once I got a handle on the basics of steering, I moved onto the road. Everything suddenly got ten times scarier, and I had to learn not to panic or worry so much about other drivers. (Of course, I still need to be aware of my surroundings; I just have a tendency to switch into panic mode if other vehicles are around me.)
My first accident
In Ohio, I needed to make a U-turn on a two-lane street. I pulled forward into a driveway, got nervous, and backed out quickly without watching what I was doing. I ended up crashing into a guardrail, effectively damaging (slightly) the bumper of our truck. I waited months before getting behind the wheel again. Thus began my on and off driving journey.
Driving in San Antonio
After a while, I finally allowed myself to drive again. Note that I am not saying this was a good itdea. On the contrary, I should have learned from my mistake and kept going. My dad said it was like training a new driver all over again.
Anyway, it wasn’t long before I made another mistake. While in the busy city of San Antonio, I needed to make a right turn and merge all the way over multiple lanes. Over a short distance. Right before a traffic light. I turned and proceeded to merge without checking each lane. A minivan came from behind and narrowly missed me. Again, I took a break from driving.
More merging trouble
When I began driving again, it was mostly when we were going to NPS sites and traveling in non crowded places. However, one time while making a left turn onto the highway, I didn’t check the lane I was turning into. A truck was driving in the lane, and as it was a highway, the speed limit was fast. My dad had to tell me to stay in the center turning lane.
After that incident (in which I could’ve killed us all and caused a huge accident), I decided I wanted to quit and never drive. I didn’t drive at all after that. Meanwhile, Aiden continued driving people around during the week.
Coming back to Texas
Every year, we go back to Texas for a few reasons.
– get school supplies from storage
– see our friends
– get anything done with our vehicle/RV that needs to be done
We are now in Texas, and as we don’t normally stay long, my parents decided Aiden and I should get our driver’s licenses. Let me explain some more.
We only come back to Texas once a year. We come in the fall and leave before the next year (normally). Since my birthday is in February and I will be turning 18 then, we would be out of state and unable to take our road tests. We didn’t want to have to deal with me getting my license as an adult. (I did kids’ driver’s ed.) Thus, this was my only chance to take the test. Also, Aiden applied to a job that could’ve required a license, so that was incentive for him to get his. I didn’t want to, but my parents had me take the test because of all the time and money they’d already put into teaching me. Aiden was ready. I wasn’t at all.
My mom found a small city in north Texas. She found an RV park nearby we could stay at, and for two days prior to the test, I practiced parking and driving around. After not having driven in months, I had to get used to the feel of the truck. Parking in all kinds of ways at a semi-empty parking lot really helped. I think what made it even easier was that there weren’t people around, so I only had to worry about the stationary vehicles, and I didn’t get as nervous as I normally do. (also my dad is a great driver and knows exactly when I’m about to hit something. This helped a lot when learning to park in tight spots.)
Did I mention parallel parking? Well, the DMV we took our test at had a parallel parking spot. According to the workers inside the building, the spot is about 5 feet longer than our truck. That leaves little room for mistakes. One of the days the DMV was closed, we went down there in our truck, and both Aiden and I practiced parallel parking in the tiny spot. Even our dad said he wouldn’t try parking in a spot that small (and he drives our RV everywhere).
Thankfully, parallel parking is more of a technique than a skill. For me, I didn’t have to figure out what felt right; I just had to follow the rules, and the truck would end up where it should’ve been.
My road test
After two days of driving every day, Aiden and I scheduled our road tests. I set mine before Aiden’s so I wouldn’t get extra anxious during the waiting time. Basically, I woke up, got dressed, drove to the DMV, and took my test.
The first thing my driving examiner did was have me parallel park. I’m actually glad about this, because I didn’t have to worry about it afterwards. Next, I did a quick stop and then drove straight backwards. After that, I drove onto the highway, around a neighborhood, and back to the DMV.
The test didn’t take very long. I got sixteen points taken off (out of the allowed 30), and most of those were in parallel parking. The others were for almost missing the highway exit and not turning my head enough (so the examiner could see I was looking) when passing through a green light. I got observation wrong in the “use of lanes” column. The examiner told me what I did wrong, but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
Pass or fail?
And now, the answer you all have been waiting for: did I pass or fail?
I passed! I literally sat in the car for a few seconds after the examiner left and did a tiny happy dance. That is soo unlike me, but I think it fit the occasion.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to pass. All I wanted to do was get back to the DMV safely and be done with the test. However, I prayed for God to be with me and calm my nerves so I’d be able to drive safely, and I think he did exactly that.
Now that I’m a licensed driver, what will I do? Hmm, let me think. First off, not drive.
“Not drive? Then why did you get your license?”
Legally, I’m allowed to drive, but I don’t consider myself the best driver. I kind of don’t trust myself behind the wheel. Furthermore, I am not on our truck’s insurance, it costs tons to add a child, and I don’t have anywhere I need to drive to.
Still, I’m glad I got my license. If there’s an emergency, I can drive, and if I need to have some form of ID, my license will work. And I never have to worry about taking a driving test again. (The only thing I will have to do is renew my license in four months when I turn 18.)
I’m happy I have my license. Up until the test, I was very nervous—so much so that my hands and knees were literally shaking—and I’m happy it’s over. I don’t plan on using my license now, but if I for some reason I need to drive in the future, I don’t have to worry about anything besides staying safe.
That’s it for today guys! I hope you enjoyed this (unusually long) post. If you liked it, comment down below, and if you didn’t, feel free to suggest posts you want to see in the future. Until next time, happy reading!
13 Replies to “I Took My Road Test”
Hi, dear Kayla,
I read with much interest the trials and tribulations of your getting our license. I’m proud that you persisted, despite your fears. I’m sure you’re not the only young person who has had the same experience. I’m praying that you will eventually learn to relax behind the wheel. Driving will be a skill you need to own and perfect now and in the future. You had an especially difficult challenge because it was a big truck that you were driving and not a sedan or smaller car! But you did it!! You did it! And you WILL eventually be able to relax as you drive more and more. Much love, AuntE
Hey, Aunty Eileen. I’m glad you enjoyed reading, and thank you for your thoughts and prayers!
Congratulations Kayla!!! So proud of you!! Well, of all of us 3 girl siblings – your granny, auntie Lyn and Me, I was the first one to get my permit at age 15 and couldn’t wait to get my license at 16. I’m two years younger than your granny but i couldn’t wait to get my license!!!! It really is great to have your license and it comes in handy to be able to drive, just ‘ cause it’s convenient to go places. Hope you don’t give up on yourself about not wanting to drive.
Keep up with your writing! I think i read all of your books , except maybe the last one.
Congratulations again to you and to Aiden!!
Thanks! Yes, I’ve gotten more comfortable, but driving in big cities (like Dallas and San Antonio) is still a challenge.
A BIG HUG and congratulations for your bravery and persistence in pursuing your driver’s license!
I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to learn to drive a truck! I was 26 years old when Grandpa taught me how to drive in a Ford Mustang. It was scary at the beginning and there were a few minor accidents. I’ve been driving for more than 50 years now and several people have actually said I’m a good driver. You can be too!
A BIG HUG and congratulations also to Aiden!
Thank you! Haha, it’s funny that I actually have a more difficult time driving cars now.
So proud of you Kayla! Congratulations on getting your licenses.
Congrats on getting it first try! I was so nervous when I had to take mine and failed the first time. I’m not a good driver. ? It was a big relief to pass on the second try.
Thanks! I’m so thankful I got to take my test in a small-ish town.
Congratulations upon getting your driver’s license, Kayla, and also to Aiden!
That’s a big step.
You’re kind of like your granny Lum. She’s 3 years older than I am, but I got my driver’s license before she did. I got my license on the day I turned 16, and drove myself somewhere praying all the way to get there and back home safely.