Road Test: Measuring Safety or Deceit?

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The dreaded road test provides immeasurable stress for new drivers. From the moment I received my permit, I had been thinking and worrying about passing my road test. You always hear horror stories of turning onto a one-way street the wrong way, and of course the dreaded parallel parking. However, is the road test really an accurate measure of one’s driving skills? Or does it simply measure one’s ability to deceive the DMV into believing that you will drive safely after your license is acquired?

I’m going to be perfectly frank for a moment. In real life, no one actually drives like they do during their driver’s test. They just don’t. Look at our parents. Sure, they may be very competent drivers, but do they obey every single law? Do they completely stop at every stop sign, look left, look right, and look left again? Chances are most people cannot answer yes to this question. So what is the point of a road test if it is merely to show that one has the ability to drive safely, even if one normally doesn’t? It seems like a road test has turned into merely protocol, rather than a safety measure. And even when a person is failed, it is usually over something stupid! How many times will a person actually parallel park. My mother has admitted that she will drive around for 20 minutes before parallel parking. So why can’t we all?

I guess the main reason is to determine how a person can handle stress while driving. With the examiner sitting right next to you, watching your every move, not looking for the good, but picking to find the bad, a person can get pretty stressed. Fortunately, I was able to beat the system and passed the road test on the first time. I drove very slowly, constantly surveying the area, not at all how I normally drive. Now I can write this article and state my true feelings (although I do know that I must be careful so I don’t get my license revoked!).

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