Not Driven To Drive

A driver’s license – it can be a ticket to freedom for some, but pointless to others. With the ability to obtain it at the age of 16, fewer and fewer teens are getting them. Most teens nowadays are waiting to turn 18 to get their license. As of 2021, 26.1% of 16 year olds had their license compared to 46.0% of teens in 1983. The percentage of 16 year old teens with licenses had dropped by nearly 20% according to Next Gen Personal Finance

I, myself, am a contributor to those numbers. A couple weeks before I had turned 16, my mother had brought up the idea of getting a driver’s license and even offered to pay for the Drivers Ed course that I would be required to take. At the time, I didn’t find a need to be driving around anywhere and to add onto that, it was during the COVID lockdown when there were strict restrictions and protocols we had to follow. Even after the lockdown and mandates had been lifted, there was still no point in a license as my mother was almost always able to take me wherever I needed to go. We would also be having to share the car meaning I wouldn’t really be able to drive whenever I wanted to as she would have to use the car, nor would I be able to drive to school and back which would add on to the lack of necessity for a license.

As time passed, the necessity for a license increased. With my mother getting a new job and not being able to take me to as many places as she would before, I now was more eager towards learning how to drive. My father at the time, however, had more time on his hands and wanted to teach me how to drive. We came to an agreement that he would be teaching me the basics of driving in the fields, which was a big open area on private property, so I wouldn’t be breaking any laws. At first it seemed a little challenging getting the basics down, such as braking slowly and slowly speeding up instead of doing it at an instant motion. At one point, I thought it would take a while for me to learn, but I realized that I may have been overthinking it. After practicing for days and days, I began to see improvement with my driving ability and felt more confident behind the wheel. 

Despite learning the basics of driving and being ready to drive on an actual road, I still wasn’t motivated enough to take the Drivers Ed classes to get my permit and then my license. Even though I needed to be driven around more, I felt as if the whole process was too long and on top of that, during that time I would have been turning 18 within a year. 

Even then, it would still be somewhat pointless having a license because I would still be having to share a car. It wasn’t just merely one thing that didn’t motivate me to get a license, but instead a combination of things which made me want to take the easy way out and just wait until I turn 18 to obtain my license. 

Currently, I am waiting a month and a half to turn 18 to be able to take both my written and driving test to get my license. I plan on taking the written test within the first week that I turn 18, just to get it out of the way, then scheduling the driving test as soon as I can to be able to finally get my license. 

The wait however, wasn’t worth it. If I could somehow go back in time, I would definitely take my mother up for the offer on taking my Drivers Ed classes. Having a license would have been great if I had gotten it sooner, as I would have the freedom to go wherever I needed to without having any restrictions. Although I save myself a lot of money by waiting and not paying the instructor fee, I would rather have had to pay in order to already have my license since it seems more of a necessity now, as I need to drive around to places such as work, school, and the gym.