John’s Recon

September 13, 2010

Serpentine, Serpentine

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Prichard @ 6:37 am

I think this was said to Gene Wilder in the Frisco Kid when he was running and dodging bullets … anyway it was a funny scene. Serpentine is the word that comes to mind when a new driver can’t keep a straight line. It seems that at first most new drivers go down the road moving the steering wheel back and forth like they are riding in an old pick-up across the open plains … serpentine.

Many times I make sure that we are on a straight and level surface, put my hand close to the steering wheel, and ask them to take their hands off. Imagine their surprise when they realize the car tracks straight as an arrow without any guidance from them. I explain to them that what is happening is that they are working too hard … they are the ones that are adding in steering errors and then taking them away … left on its own the car does just fine (if properly aligned). After that, they drive more smoothly and straight … until they go across an uneven surface and have to add in more input … back to their old ways.

This one young man gave me a chuckle when after being shown this “complete lack of movement of the steering wheel” remarked that we have been programmed by old movies where we look at the faces of the driver while he has a conversation with his passenger in front … these actors are constantly moving the wheel side to side. He is right. Not only that but they look at each other far too often and far too long.

How funny that Hollywood decided that a driver should look physically “busy” driving when in reality the only thing that is busy is your brain and your eyes.

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