mrdreamjeans: (EYES have it)
[personal profile] mrdreamjeans
One of the items I hadn’t yet checked off of list of things to do following my move was getting my MN drivers license back. It’s not as easy as you would think. When I moved back to Texas for two years I went to the Texas DMV office, filled out the application and received my Texas drivers license in the mail a couple of weeks later. Texas assigned the same drivers license number I’d had since I started driving when I was 15 years old. No written exam was required.

Both times in Minnesota there was more to the process. As I did a few years ago, I had to take the written portion of the drivers exam. This time, I knew to study for it! Over the past few days, I've taken six practice tests and read the MN drivers manual. My scores on the practice tests ranged from 60 to 93. I failed two and passed four. It's not a bad thing to take a refresher course and remind yourself of driving rules and regulations.

As I drove to the testing station, I was driving with fresh eyes. I was aware of keeping my hands on the steering wheel at 8 and 4 or 9 and 3, not 10 and 2. I paid attention to the colors of the lane lines and especially focused on the signage. There are lots of questions about signage, colors and distances. For instance, do you know (or remember) when you’re driving with your high beam lights on, you’re to switch to low beam lights when approaching traffic is within 1000 feet of your vehicle? Every potential traffic situation seemed to have a different distance.

On the way to the exam station in Plymouth, I passed an elderly lady weaving in and out of her lane. When I looked over, she had both hands on the wheel and was reading a newspaper! She was also under the minimum speed. A few miles beyond this example of poor driving, I pulled up to a stop light next to a young woman who was texting one handed, cell phone clearly in view. When the light turned green, she pulled away, still texting, her focus clearly not on the road. (I see that all the time and the MN manual clearly states it is illegal.

I was nervous standing in line. Behind me in line was a 15 year old with his mother. I told him my entire wardrobe was older than him:) He told me not to worry, I would do well. Sweet kid. Sooo young! After I missed one of the first two questions, (The minimum speed limit on MN roads when unmarked is 30MPH. I over-thought the question and chose 35MPH.) I told myself to trust my preparation and go with my gut. I passed with a score of 91%, higher than all but one of my practice tests. It was silly to be nervous, but I wanted my MN license back. By the way, they gave me the same MN driver’s license number as before! I’ll receive it in the mail in three weeks. What a relief!

Date: 2017-07-13 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] apparentparadox
I also over-thought things when going for my OR license several years ago. I think it's stupid to have to memorize distances like how far ahead of a turn you have to turn on your turn signal. In the first place, it really should depend on how many other places there are that you could turn that would confuse people. If there is an alley before the street, I think it's better to wait until you're past the alley so that folks don't think you're going to turn in the alley -- or that you're just driving with your turn signal on. Besides which, I suck at estimating distances, so even if I know the official distance that I'm supposed to turn on my turn signal, that doesn't mean that I could do it in real life, because I wouldn't be able to estimate what 500' was!

And why should I have to know the ages and weights for when a child has to be in a car seat? That should be the responsibility of the parents to know that, and they are willing to let me drive their kid, they should be the ones to know whether the kid belongs in a car seat (and also supply the car seat!).

Date: 2017-07-14 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] apparentparadox
Buddy has a harness that the seatbelt goes through and keeps him from being tossed around if we're in an accident. Our previous dog hated being confined in any way and would react badly to that kind of thing. She would just curl up on the floor of the back seat.

Yes, dogs running loose (and on the owner's lap) can be quite a distraction! Maybe not as bad as texting, but still!

Date: 2017-07-15 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] apparentparadox
The car harness we have is pretty cool if the dog will put up with it. You can also use it as a harness for walking so you don't need to carry two different harnesses if you're going for a drive. (Especially with small dogs, a harness is much better than just using a collar). We have a harness that works well for everyday use when walking and stuff, and then use the other harness when we're going in the car (and doing short walking once we get to where we're going).

I cringe every time I see a dog with its head out the window -- windblown stuff can get in their eyes, and that isn't good!

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