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My First Time Driving Was Almost Disastrous

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A red 2020 GMC Acadia, much like the one I nearly backed into another car the first time I tried to drive.
Photo: GMC

When you’re young, there are few prospects more enticing than learning how to drive. Maybe it’s the sense of freedom or autonomy that a license offers. Maybe it’s the promise of a sick set of wheels provided by your exorbitantly wealthy and unfortunately short-sighted parents. Heck, maybe it’s just the ability to drive yourself to school instead of riding the bus.

As a former young person, I once felt the same way. So, when I had my first chance to hop behind the wheel, I was pretty stoked. It didn’t quite go according to plan.

Good for first-timers and veterans alike: The 2021 GMC Acadia

Setting the stage

Cast your mind back to the halcyon days of 2011, when a fresh-faced if slightly doughy 15-year-old young man named Aaron spent one particularly memorable summer afternoon helping to mulch his father’s garden. Once all of the bags of mulch had been removed from the back of his father’s GMC Acadia, he grabbed a rake and got to work.

Not much later, the driveway real estate occupied by the three-row SUV needed to be cleared. Knowing that Aaron was on the cusp of getting his temporary license, his father tossed him the keys and said something along the lines of “hey, back it up and park along the side of the street.”

This is where things went slightly awry.

Recounting the incident

You see, this would be Aaron’s first time driving, and he’d never been accused of overconfidence. So, he asked his father to join him in the Acadia to provide a few pointers during the 25-foot odyssey. Things began well enough, with our young protagonist depressing the brake pedal and shifting to reverse like a seasoned professional. Seconds later, inexperience reared its ugly head.

As Aaron slowly made his way down the driveway and towards the street, his father noticed a car approaching from the left. He said, “Brake.” Panicking, the first-time driver put the pedal to the floor. Unfortunately, it was the gas pedal. His father, now realizing that he was in a car with an idiot, yelled, “Brake!” Thankfully, Aaron found the correct pedal this time and brought the Acadia to a stop before any damage was done. With a bruised ego and a justifiably disappointed father, Aaron parked the SUV next to the curb, thus completing his first driving experience.

The major twist? That once-young man now writes about cars for a living.

Did your disappointing child fail to stop the car?: Let an expert reverse the damage