Aaaahhh, Sweet 16! The age where extended bed times and more freedom are not just dreams but entitlements. Perhaps the greatest among them was that proud day that our parents drove us down to the DMV to sign up for our driver’s permit. What a fabulous piece of paper! We could almost smell the burning rubber and motor oil tinged air that lay ahead. Then, just as we were about to prance out the door, the oh so friendly DMV attendant plopped that big book down in front of us. What are we supposed to do with this? Study? The rules of the road?
Knowing that failing the written portion of the driver’s test meant no driver’s license no matter how good we performed on the driving portion (and what 16 year old isn’t a perfect driver) we studied. We read that book from front to back, and learned everything there was to know. We aced our written test, passed our driver’s test (hopefully the first time) and then spent the rest of our lives forgetting the rules of the road.
It’s a sad fact that most people, unless they are in the minority that takes defensive driving courses, know more about the rules of the road at the age of 16 than they do at any other point in their life. If every driver on the road was conversant with these rules, many accidents could be avoided. I see violations of these rules every day. Two of the most common examples are which vehicle has the right of way when two vehicles come to an intersection simultaneously and both have a stop sign. The second is which lane a vehicle is required to turn into when making a left (or right) hand turn onto a road which has two lanes of traffic available for the intended direction of travel.
So what can you do to bone up on those rules of the road? Well, you could review that DMV driver’s manual if you knew where it was. But if you are like me, you haven’t seen it since the day you passed your driver’s test. The answer to where to find another copy has now been answered. Thanks to New York’s DMV, the Driver’s Manual and Study Guide is now available on-line at http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/dmanual/ . It’s a great way to see how much you remember and re-learn some of those rules of the road you may have forgotten over the years. For those of you with kids now approaching driving age, it is an easy resource for them to start studying.
As a Plaintiff’s personal injury attorney regularly dealing with car accident cases, I can’t wait to pull out a copy of the driver’s manual at my next deposition of a defendant who failed to obey one of the rules of the road. It should make for some fun questioning!
Thanks for reading,
Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Personal Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901