Meet Mitsuaki. He recently arrived in the United States to enter university. He wants to do well in his studies and adjust to the new culture. But Mitsuaki has a problem. It's not his roommates. It's not his school fees. It's not even his English ability. Mitsuaki's problem is that he doesn't have a car. And in America, that really makes him a foreigner. Mitsuaki has already discovered a basic fact of American culture: Driving is a way of life.
It's not that there's no public transportation in America. Many cities have taxis, buses and subways to help commuters get to and from work. Some large universities even have buses to take students to classes across campus. But most people find it much more convenient to drive, even if they do have to deal with traffic. Nowadays busy families often have more than one vehicle. Many people view their car as a status symbol. But no matter their social status, people without wheels feel tied down.
When Mitsuaki first arrived, he was amazed at how young many American drivers there were. Young people in America often get their driver's license around age 16 by passing a written test and a driving test. In many cases, before they can get their license, they have to take a driver education course. This course gives students hands-on practice with driving. It also helps to reduce the high cost of insurance. For teenagers, being able to drive--and in some cases, have their own car--is a big deal. It gives them a sense of power and freedom. Many young Americans consider a driver's license a right, not a privilege. It's rare to find an American teenager without one.
Mitsuaki finally decides that he needs a car. His host family helps him find a good used car to buy. But before he gets his license and starts driving, he has to understand that the American style of driving is defensive, not offensive. He also needs to learn some of the basic rules of the road that good drivers follow.
10 Commandments of Good Driving in America:
1. Yield to vehicles who have the right of way.
2. Don't cut in front of other vehicles.
3. Drive within the speed limit.
4. Obey all road signs and police officers.
5. Pull over to the side of the road when you hear a siren.
6. Stop completely at red lights and stop signs.
7. Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
8. Park only in a designated parking space.
9. Use your turn signals when turning or changing lanes.
10. Don't drink and drive.
As a car owner, Mitsuaki has the responsibility of maintaining his car. He knows that regular maintenance checkups can help to prevent many serious problems. But no matter how careful the maintenance, all vehicles need to be repaired sometimes. Many Americans take their cars to a garage for maintenance and repairs. Others like to work on their own vehicles. Not Mitsuaki. He decides that being a student is enough work for him.
Driving is to Americans what flying is to birds. It's almost part of their nature. For many Americans, being behind the wheel is like their natural habitat. But if they don't drive carefully, they can become an endangered species.
字体：大 中 小 [关闭] [返回上页]