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First time driving

the first time i ever drove on the road in my drivers ed class some guy ran a red light in front of me while on his cell phone.

That experience was actually a good object lesson for you–in more ways than one.

Now, you know how distracted a driver can be when using a cellphone while driving.
This experience will–hopefully–teach you to avoid cellphone use while you are behind the wheel, and also to be extremely cautious at intersections.

You can’t always protect yourself from distracted/drunk/stoned drivers but one very good bit of self-defense is to count to 3 before proceeding across an intersection when the light turns green. This should help to reduce the chance of being T-boned by a jerk who is talking on a cellphone while he is driving. It won’t eliminate that chance, but at least it will reduce it.

Practical lesson in road safety. There are people like that so keep the 12 second rule in mind. Pay attention to car control till it is an instinct. Take a few advanced driving courses so you know what to do when other people make mistakes.
Good luck on the road. Enjoy sometimes a long drive can be the most relaxing thing to do.

Very good advice with the “count to 3” wait at the intersection, after the light turns green. I’ve been using it myself quite a bit.

Another method I use, in order to vary things a bit is that I bring the car to a full stop when the light is green, and conversly proceed right through the intersection when the light is red. This way I always keep the others guessing as to what I will be doing next.

You’ve apparently already picked up a few good traits: wait until you see what the guy coming is doing, and whenever practicable look at the driver rather than just the vehicle. In my 40++ years of driving, there are certainly many hundreds of accidents I never had because I was paying attention to other drivers.

Nice work.

One more tip: when someone is coming up with a turn signal on, never believe the signal until you actually see the turn begin.

“when someone is coming up with a turn signal on, never believe the signal until you actually see the turn begin.”

Excellent tip, MB!

Back in the late '50s, my brother was hit by a car because he believed that the car would be turning. Instead, it continued straight ahead and knocked my brother about 10 feet toward the curb.

Luckily, he was not badly injured. While we could have sued for the minimal medical bills + pain & suffering, my father decided that suing a man who was uninsured and obviously very poor was both inappropriate and a likely exercise in futility. Nowadays, most parents would probably sue for the guy’s teeth, regardless of his poverty. And, luckily, nowadays insurance is a requirement for registering a car.

But, anyway, never trust a turn signal!

Thanks. I hope your brother healed completely and went on to lead a healthy life.

Unfortunately, insurance isn’t required in all states. NH, my state, doesn’t require it.

Oh, yeah. He did heal completely.
Of course, that hit on the head might explain certain behaviors that persist to this day…