Driver’s Ed – Polish Style

I’ve been driving on my international license for over a year now and finally gave in to taking the Polish driver’s license exam. I’m only required to take the written exam and since I already have a California license they will trust that my driving skills are good enough.

I took my DMV exam 12 years ago and followed that up with a motorcycle exam a couple of years later, so it’s been a while that I had to cram for a license test. Luckily I must be a decent driver cause most of the correct answers just feel right to begin with and I get pretty close to passing the practice test each time. Well, I passed a few times but I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet.

The exam now is all computerized of course, mine was actually written 12 years ago, but the tricky part is that in a multiple answer question more than one answer may be right. No guessing game here for a 33.3% chance of getting A, B, or C correct. All three answers may be good, and of course at least one is. A lot of first aid stuff, too, since you are required by law to help a victim of an accident in Poland, no innocent by-standing here.

Not to mention tricky questions like “What’s the stopping distance of a car traveling 60km/h on a wet cobblestone road”… the stopping distance SUCKS! That’s really the only honest answer I feel is correct. A third of Wrocław has cobblestone roads that date back to when Wrocław was still a German city called Breslau, and when it rains, not to mention when it snows, I’m not about to count how many meters there are between me and the car right in front, I just know to keep safely away and keep my speed to a minimum. I’m being sarcastic of course and for every question there is a correct answer or two (or three), but quite honestly the questions here are much more detail oriented and much more precise than I remember them being in the States. It’s a tough one, that’s for sure.

One would actually think that since the exam in Poland is so hard, and the driving test is almost impossible to pass, that Poland would have some of the best drivers around. Not so much! In fact, I think some of the most “creative” driving in the world happens right here in Wrocław.

“All lanes blocked but a wide open sidewalk to the right…sure, why not” and all it takes is just one joker to drive on that sidewalk to have 2o more cars follow him down the idiot path. Sometimes I witness situations so stupid that all I can say out loud is “Seriously?” and hope that Darwin hands out his award sooner rather than later.

But before I go back to my exam studying for tomorrow’s test, here’s one question I thought was funny.

No, this person is not dancing on the side of the road. He’s drunk! A question that makes perfect sense after dodging my drunk neighbor with my car on more than one occasion. “How should the driver react seeing a weaving person walking down the side of the road?” Unfortunately none of the answers offer the man another beer…

Wish me luck.

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