Driving, a freedom and responsibility

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A big part of the excitement of getting older is the freedom to drive. Getting older, we spend countless hours of time in the car with our parents driving, and that gives us the goal to drive places and do things on our own. Also, seeing our older friends start driving gives us a motivation to be like them.

Driving is freedom for a teenager; we can go wherever we want and not have to rely on our parents to give us a ride. We can go home right after school or practice and not have to depend on a ride that is running late. We also can go to some events that we would not be able to attend otherwise. Driving as a teenager prepares us for being an adult. The more practice we get now, the better drivers we will be as adults.

With all the amazing freedoms that come with a driver’s license, there is a major responsibility to protect yourself and others while on the road. I am currently enrolled in a provisional permit online class, so that I can get my learner’s permit. A lot of the information in the class is on how our mistakes can lead to someone else getting hurt. The lessons focus on how to drive safely, but it also explains what to do to help protect ourselves and others in the event of an accident.

A lot of reactions to other drivers can be dangerous. In the class there is a whole unit on what road rage is and how to be aware and careful of it. If we are not completely focused on what we are doing when we are driving, especially as teenagers, we will anger others on the road. When you are involved in that sort of situation, make sure to get away from that person before something even worse happens, even if it means to take a different route to your destination.

Once a learner’s permit is achieved, a teenager must have a minimum of six months with the permit before they can take their driver’s test. With a learner’s permit, we are not allowed to drive in a car unless there is someone 25 years or older in the passenger seat able to quickly take control of the wheel. A permit holder cannot drive on the freeway, and must complete 50 hours of driving with at least ten hours driving at night with someone 25 or older before the driver’s test can be taken. You must also have completed at least six hours of professional driver training.

Driving may be a scary thing to face as a teenager. Knowing all the accidents and issues that can happen while driving is enough to make us all a little weary of getting behind the wheel. Although it may be scary, driving is a major part of life and fears and hesitations must be overcome. I am certain that when I get behind the wheel that I will make many mistakes, but I will learn from them and get more comfortable in the driver’s seat.

The thing I am most excited about for when I get my license is being able to go places with my friends and not needing my parents to drive me. I will not have to worry about what time things will be over so they can be there, I can just hop in the car and go home. If I am out at night, my parents usually want to come kind of early to pick me up because they are tired, so with my license I can stay out with my friends later and not make my parents come drive me home while they are tired.

I cannot stay out too late; however, because in the first year of having a license, we are not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. We are also not allowed to drive other minors within the first year of obtaining a license. So in my junior year, when I will hopefully have my license by, I will not be able to drive my friends places, but senior year I will be able to drive with my friends in the car and we can all hang out together. Sometimes parents don’t  want to give other kids rides because it is too far out of the way, but if one of my friends that doesn’t really live near me needs a ride, I will definitely offer them one.

Driving as a teenager really gets me and all other teens excited. We have one of the biggest freedoms we can achieve while minors, and we are trusted by our parents to show responsibility while on the road.

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Spencer Massicot