A Dangerous Way to Learn How to Drive

A driving crash course involving high speeds and curbs.

Robert McKeon Aloe
3 min readDec 8, 2020

The first time I stepped into a car, I thought driving was no big deal but then the fear paralyzed me as I realized I could die by my own hand.

I became terrified and could barely make it to the parking lot; I was stricken with fear. The driving instructor told me I just needed more practice so I got more practice by the man who taught me how to drive, my father.

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My mother wasn’t fond of being in a car with teenagers, so dad taught us all how to drive. However, his philosophy of learning to drive was a sink or swim kind of way. Apparently, he didn’t make the connection that if we sank, he was in the car with us, sinking.

He wanted to go out early on Saturday and Sunday mornings because nobody would be out on the road, but the first time was really unnerving.

We lived about 20 miles from his work, and he needed to go into the office on a Saturday morning to look at something. So he told me I would drive the car, and we went.

I was nervous but things seem to be going OK until we turned on the Grand Parkway.

At the time we lived in the suburbs, and the land along this particular road was not developed yet. However they plan to have a bunch of shops, so there was a 2 lane road going each way. Due to a lack of development of the land out there, the speed limit was between 55 and 65 mph depending on where you were on the road.

So when we pulled on to the grand Parkway, my dad told me not to worry. I was obviously nervous, but there weren’t too many cars on the road. He said,

Try to go the speed limit but really just don’t hit the curb or we will flip over and die.

To say this pep talk made me more nervous was an understatement. To say my dad was great at pep talks is an overstatement.

Somehow, we made it to his office without incident. I drove mostly ten miles under the speed limit, and I was glad I survived until I had to drive us back home.

Ultimately, I was driving 8 hour each weekend with my dad for three months, and I quickly became the best driver of the three others in the driver’s education car.

I’m not sure if going on a curbed freeway was the best way to be introduced to driving, but I didn’t die. I also learned to drive. Considering the point of driving is to get from point A to point B without dying,

Mission Accomplished!



Robert McKeon Aloe

I’m in love with my Wife, my Kids, Espresso, Data Science, tomatoes, cooking, engineering, talking, family, Paris, and Italy, not necessarily in that order.