First comes full disclosure:
I do not own a Porsche automobile. I have never owned one nor have I ever longed to own one, and unless I hit the lottery for multiple millions I will never own one. Having said that, I can state without any hesitation that should I ever have an occasion to drive a Porsche, on a test drive perhaps after I bank my lottery winnings, I will not—and I repeat, I will not—drive it as suggested by Jeff Purner, a professional driving instructor for Porsche Cars North America.
Our local paper is the San Antonio Express-News. It’s the only daily newspaper in San Antonio, Texas and each Monday it publishes a feature called Monday Drive. On Monday, June 6, 2011 the feature was titled Take action before you hit the road, an article provided by NewsUSA.
Most of the advice given by the professional driving instructor in the article deals with routine maintenance such as checking windshield wiper blades, tire condition and inflation, fuel and other gages, condition of seat belts, headlights, brake lights, turn signals and positions of external and internal rear view mirrors. The professional Porsche instructor states that checking those items before you turn on the ignition could mean the difference between life and death. He also extols the dangers of cell phones, whether texting, talking or using GPS applications, and considers such actions equal to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
I am in complete agreement with Jeff Purner, right up to the point that he is quoted as saying, So many accidents can be traced back to bad decisions before you even get behind the driver’s seat. At that point Jeff and I are in violent conflict concerning auto safety—at opposite poles, so to speak.
If you, the reader, wonder why I do not agree with Jeff Purner, a professional driving instructor for Porsche Cars North America, please read the previous paragraph and note carefully where apparently Jeff sits when driving—behind the driver’s seat rather than behind the steering wheel. I believe that even if his arms were long enough to reach the wheel, there is no way he could reach the brake pedal or the gas pedal, or the clutch if the car has a manual transmission, and his vision of the various dashboard controls and gages would be severely restricted.
I will therefore counter the professional driver’s advice with my own: Do not get behind the driver’s seat to drive a car unless you are a very large and very highly trained octopus. With your four pairs of arms you could then dedicate specific arms to work the brake pedal, accelerator, mirrors, sound system, cell phone and a GPS unit, and still have two arms for the steering wheel. I believe that makes eight—yep, that’s all eight of them.
Those of us who are not octopuses—yes, that is the correct plural for octopus—should check all that stuff before getting behind the wheel, not behind the driver’s seat. I will also counter the advice of Porche’s professional driver to hold the wheel at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. Poppycock! Poppycock, I say! Keep holding that wheel at 10 and 2, and for heaven’s sake, do not listen to those that would tell you to hold the wheel at the bottom, whether with palms up or palms down. Either way you are subject to contribute to drivers’ efforts to fill heaven up sooner rather than later, heaven and that other place also.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.