March 23, 2006

I Rocked It

It's been 20 years since my last driving test but - thanks to the online samples - I rocked my California written exam yesterday. Score: 30 of 36.

That doesn't mean I missed six. It means the touch-screen DMV computer stopped asking after the 30th question, since new applicants are allowed to miss up to six (an 83% grade!) and still pass.

Normally on these tests I expect questions about driving physics and legalities. But California seems more focused on touch-feely questions:

The correct answer is first: "You can frustrate the other drivers and make them angry." That is the reason you don't tailgate in California.

Not because you wouldn't have enough distance to brake safely. Not because tailgating is a major cause of accidents and deaths.

It's because you don't want other drivers feel bad. Because - of course - you would never want another driver to get "frustrated" or "angry." It might lead to road rage!

So if that's the case, then I'm confused by this directive in the California Driver Handbook:
Instead of using your horn, "try to get 'eye contact' with other drivers."

But ... but ... what about eye contact that leads to the dreaded road rage? From this article:
If another driver is acting angry toward you, don't make eye contact. Looking or staring at another driver can turn an impersonal encounter between two vehicles into a personal duel. And once things get personal, the situation can get out of hand fast.

I may have passed my driver's test, but I'm no less confused.

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