“Make sure you stop at the sign ahead.”March 5, 2013
When I was 16 and learning how to drive, I had something happen to me that I can’t explain and still creeps me out a bit to this day.
I was out in a driving school vehicle with the driving instructor. We were probably an hour into the two hour session. It wasn’t my first time driving and it wasn’t my first time driving with one of the school’s instructors, so I was pretty calm and relaxed and pretty much knew what I was doing at this point.
Anyway, we’re headed down this road and approaching a Stop sign. It’s still light enough to see what’s coming without headlights so it’s not like it’s hard to see. I was probably going maybe 35-40 mph. It was in a residential area, but on the edge of it. No homes were along the road I was traveling or down the cross street with at the stop sign. It was a 4-way stop because as we approached, I remembered seeing people stopped on the cross-street waiting.
Maybe 200-300 yards away from the Stop sign, the driving instructor says to me “Make sure you stop at the sign ahead.”
I think to myself “Why would just remind me to Stop at the sign?” And then say out loud “Yep!” just to humor her and be nice. It’s still pretty far away, so it was a pretty odd reminder.
The next moment I consciously remember is being on the same road but being 200-300 yards past the Stop sign. I don’t remember stopping. I don’t even know if I did or not. I have no memory of it. (We’ve all had the auto-pilot thing where you just suddenly realize you’re 5 miles down the road on the interstate going 60 mph…but this isn’t that kind of experience.)
Just as my conscious mind picks up and realizes that we’re past the stop sign and I have no memory of the past 2-3 minutes, the driving instructor turns to me and says “Did we Stop at the sign?” I looked over at her, and we both knew.
We didn’t even need to say it. We both knew. It didn’t need to be discussed.
Neither of us remembered if we stopped at that stop sign. We don’t know what happened for those 2-3 minutes.