What are the three most common mistakes that drivers make?

Ralph Maccio at Pat Morita's 2005 Memorial Getty Images

I have a special place in my heart for Pat Morita. He was my first sensei. I learned to wax on and wax off; sand the floor; and, paint the fence from the man who was once Arnold on Happy Days - y'know, that show that started in the '70's about the '50's... and then ran on into the '80's...about the '60's - man, they had almost every decade covered there, didn't they?

Here's a quick Fun Fact for you: did you know that the original The Karate Kid was a junior version of Rocky? The director of the Sylvester Stallone boxing film reworked the formula for the teen-underdog karate film with Morita and Ralph Macchio!

It was amazing how simple movements turned into karate moves.

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan remade The Karate Kid in 2010. This one was not about a Jersey kid moving to California, but a Michigan kid moving to China.

Justin fell in love with the movie when he first saw it after coming home to us for good in 2011. The same with Ethan, when he came home in 2012. Bella was kind of into the whole thing, but more into how cute Jaden was and the music and dance moves in the movie.

Over the summer, they asked if I would show them how to drive. So, I applied the "Wax On, Wax Off/Jacket On, Jacket Off" method. We went over to the soccer field parking lot early on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I'd park the car in a parking space. I'd switch seats with the kids. After re-adjusting the seat... and maybe putting a phone book on the driver's seat so they could see over the steering wheel. Then I'd play my old Driver's Ed instructor, Mr. Stelzer, and I'd tell them to move the car over - One Space. Okay, Move it back. One Space. One Space Back.

"If you can keep it between the lines, that's pretty much the basics of driving."

Triple-A just released the results of a survey on teen driving. Teen drivers make three basic mistakes. But, they are mistakes that pretty much all drivers make.

What are they?



  • 3

    Distracted driving

    Teens can be distracted by texting while driving or talking with their friends in the car while driving. But adults are more likely to be on the phone behind the wheel. While 68% of teenagers are distracted drivers, 77% of adults are setting a bad example!

  • 2


    One of the reasons I kind of hesitated at first, and then put a lot of conditions and restrictions on showing my kids how to drive, is that I was nervous about letting them get behind the wheel. I figured an empty parking lot early in the morning was about the same as wrapping the car in Bubble Pack. Of the 14,000 fatal accidents that teen drivers have been involved in, 4,200 of them have been because of speeding. That's 30%. But 46% of drivers between 35 and 55 drive 15 miles over the speed limit!

  • 1

    Tunnel Vision

    My dad would call it "Highway Hypnosis", where you kind of forget about everything else going on around the car you're driving and just kind of pay too much attention on the car, or the lane, or whatever else is going on in front.

    Triple-A says that parents today are worse now at preparing their teens to drive than parents were 10 years ago! They recommend having conversations early and preparing teen drivers for all driving conditions as much as possible.