Fourteen-year-old student driver Madison Foster is not just staying safe by buckling up and following all posted speed limit signs. She’s taking driver’s education lessons to prepare for the wintry weather road conditions.
“As soon as my sister got her permit, I was pretty jealous and wanted to drive by myself,” Foster said.
Last February, she started practicing driving with her parents after receiving her learner’s permit.
“They started me off easily and let me go around the neighborhood, then around town where it’s not too busy. Then gradually we went to more like too busy streets where it was not around the rush hour or anything,” Foster said.
She said now she is ready to drive on her own while remaining a safe driver.
“I’ll probably take all this information in and help you understand the different weather when you have to drive,” Foster said.
Student drivers like Foster are learning how to drive at the toughest time of the year with all the snow and ice on the ground — which can be hazardous to inexperienced drivers.
“With the snow, I was pretty nervous and then I kind of got used to it, but every once in a while it can be a little scary,” Foster said.
This is why she is seeking guidance from her driver’s ed instructor.
“The biggest difference is being more proactive with stops and starts,” First Geer Driving School Instructor Jed Geer said.
Foster has been training with Geer who has about 10 years of experience teaching state-required driving lessons.
“We work up to uncontrolled intersections, it’s very important to know how to drive on those, and then we move into the one-ways, the multi-lane highways and then do interstate driving,” Geer said.
“I think it’s a great experience with an expert driver who knows the roads really well and can help teach you for when you have to drive by yourself,” Foster said.
Foster is expecting to take her driver’s test at the end of next month.
North Dakota requires young drivers to take at least six hours of driver’s ed before qualifying to take the driver’s test.