Updated: Oct 6
These thoughts, feelings, and opinions are from Driver Instructor Joseph Alford and are not representative of Lane County Driving School.
In teaching my driver ed course I am always looking for ways to keep students engaged in the class. One of the things I do is ask a “Question Of The Day.” One of the regular questions I use is “What kind of car do you want?” or, “What is your dream car?”; something like that.
Here I present to you the Top 5 automobiles that my students say….
Number 5: Audi
I found this surprising. A lot of driver ed students say that want an Audi. When I think of cars it isn’t my go-to, but it’s a popular choice with my driver ed students.
The question would be “what model?’, but sadly I cannot answer that because, I guess, I wasn’t that attentive, and I don’t know the Audi models myself. I can say with some certainty that they are talking about the sporty models.
What I tell the students is that there is a class of driver that drives hyper aggressively and unpredictably and this type of driver is famously driving a BMW or… an Audi. “Don’t be one of these type of drivers!”, I say. Will they listen? If they do get their Audi I think the chances of being hyper aggressive are higher.
Number 4: Big-Ass Pickup Trucks
OK, these are clumped together from choices such as the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Dodge Ram, etc.. Whatever make and model, a lot of students say they want a giant pickup truck.
I tell them about the fuel expense that they will have to pay, but that does not dissuade them. After all, Mom and Dad are paying, so what do they care? Same for insurance costs. Another thing that I tell them is that all their friends and family will constantly be asking them to move large, heavy things. Do they care? I don’t think so. The desire to be big and powerful on the road is super appealing to many.
I ask them not to be that jerk that is driving a large truck aggressively; riding on the tail of grandma in her Prius. Will they listen?
Number 3: Range Rover
So you wanna be a soccer mom, huh? That’s fine. Moms are the best people on the planet. Isn’t that right? We all love our moms. Nothin’ wrong with wanting to be a soccer mom, not at all.
BUT… Let’s face it; we ALL know that you aren’t going on an expedition to Mount Jefferson in your Range Rover. That Range Rover is doing an expedition to Nordstrom’s. That’s fine, but Mom, will you not get me socks for Christmas there? Get me something cool!
Number 2: Tesla
Again, I should be specific to the model, but the students just say, “Tesla.”
The design of Tesla’s are pompous and Elon Musk seems like an ass, but there is a large appeal not to have to buy gas. Personally, I’d love a safe, solid, self-driving car that I could jump into the backseat to nap and wake up at the destination. I know it’s not there yet, but when it is, I am all in… when it reaches the used market and I can afford it. I wonder how these will hold up over time?
Number 1: Jeep Wrangler
The most often mentioned car that my driver ed students say they want is the Jeep Wrangler or variant like the Rubicon. I see the appeal, it’s tough, it’s rough, it’s earthy, and it’s a classic.
Years ago, I was headed to the coast on Hwy. 126 and was going up the pass. Traffic was stopped because there was a crash just ahead. Sorry to take a dark turn in this list, but these are my thoughts on these vehicles and this is what happened.
There was crash in which a group of teenagers in an open top Jeep didn’t stay balanced in a curve and rolled over. Jeeps are very top-heavy and are more difficult to keep balanced. This was years ago, but I remember the river of blood flowing down the slope to my car like yesterday.
So, is this vehicle a good choice of a hotheaded novice driver? I don’t get to make that decision.
I apologize for this blog entry making a dark turn, but come back next time and it will be good… possibly.