My first time driving in a "big city"

Hey all! Just got back from a trip to Duluth, MN regarding graduate school. We managed to leave well before an ice storm/snow storm hit home, and get home before a second blizzard came through, so roads were pretty good. We took my dad’s massive truck up so it handled the lake effect snow in Duluth itself. Not sure how my car is going to like that if I go there, I may have to XC ski to school!
On the way home, my dad announced to me that I would be driving through the twin cities. The last time I actually remember being in Minneapolis was when I was about ten, so this is not a familiar city… and I’m a small town Iowa girl, so 8-lane freeways are completely new territory for my driving despite having ridden on them with dad driving many times.
So I got to drive through St. Paul, at night, in my dad’s huge truck that I’ve driven twice, on roads that are a little slick from previous snowfall, at 45 to 70mph.
My dad’s number one rule is apparently, don’t brake for anything. Now, yes, I have a habit of tapping the breaks whenever something happens that I was not expecting, but two times I feel the brakes were my best option:

  1. I was traveling at 60mph when a car cut in front of me, about 3’ max from my bumper (even dad admits it was this close, so I’m not exaggerating), while slowing down to try to take the exit that we were passing. There was no car overly close behind me, so I wasn’t going to get hit from behind, either.
  2. The car in front of me hit their brakes because traffic in front of them was slowing down.

Another of my favorite “shut up, dad” moments: I signalled that I would be switching lanes to the left because the sign above the lane I was in said “Exit only” and I did NOT want to exit. We were just passing a different exit, also, and dad immediately yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” uh, dad, I don’t want to exit, so I’m getting over. Somehow my signalling left meant that I was exiting right, and he was freaking out that I was going the wrong way. :gah:
Lastly, both of my parents will yell “WATCH OUT!” if there is anything happening within basically seeing distance. I have told them repeatedly that when WATCH OUT is yelled, my instinctive assumption is that there is something immediately in front of me that I am going to hit, so I am going to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting it. This never sank in, apparently:hair:. So dad yelled “WATCH OUT” and when I hit the brakes, he yelled at me for doing so. I don’t even remember what he wanted me to see, but it was something that A) I had already seen; and B) even if I hadn’t seen it there was nothing that I needed to do to react to it, because it was occuring in another lane and was not in danger of entering mine. :wall:

I did survive the experience, obviously, but I’m driving home through Wisconsin if I go live in Duluth. And I’m NEVER driving anywhere near Chicago. (Although it probably would have been less scary if I did it for the first time in the daytime in my own car).

Ahhh, the experience of driving with your parents… People act very differently when THEY are driving and when someone else is driving. Was it a big truck you were driving? One that requires a special license? I don’t think i would have the courage to that in snow AND with my dad sitting next to me:thumbsup:
To be honest - i hate to drive with my parents in the car. I remember the first ride after getting my license almost 10 years ago (we don’t learn to drive with our parents, so they never know how you drive till you actually have your license), i was so nervous i entered a turn at 45km/h (27mph) and he yelled like crazy at me :slight_smile: My dad is always very easy on the car and every time i put my foot on the acceleration, he’s getting nervous i’m ruinning the car. Thank God we have are own car to drive :woot: My mom is even worse - she will never notice that my dad is going 10 kmh above the limit, but she will always complain about my DH doing it, while she has no clue what so ever about driving:hair:.

LOL!! Oh, you poor thing!

My parents used to do this, and they’ve actually gotten better with time (I’m so glad!).

However, now my (dear, wonderful, sweet and loving) Husband does this. :wall::tap:

It’s highly annoying, so mostly HE drives and I do it to him :teehee:

thanks - yes, mostly dad drives but mom told him to let me drive at least some on the way up or back. Dad doesn’t ride well no matter what.
No, I wasn’t driving anything big enough to require a special license (Thank GOD… I would NOT have been able to do that), but dad’s got a 4-door pickup the model of which I don’t remember and my car is a Focus, and if you’ve ever gone between a nice little car to a big Dodge truck, you know it’s not something that is immediately comfortable. It takes up a lot more space than I am used to, in all directions. It also has more mass and therefore more momentum, which means that if I take my foot off the gas it starts slowing down, but it doesn’t feel like it is.

I haven’t driven with either of my parents when I didn’t have to, since I got my full license (Iowans get our permits at 14 and have 2 years of must-drive-with-parents before we get our licenses). My dad was OK with me driving up to 30 mph, even sometimes where the speed limit was 25mph, but if I hit 31 he started yelling for me to slow down. Even if the limit was 45. Highway driving was particularly annoying because he would tell me, “You can go a little faster… a little faster… no slow down. Slow down. SLOW DOWN! well, a little faster than that…” and I swear I was still going between 50 and 55 that entire time. Where the limit is 65. AH!