What Are You Waiting For?
In 2014, just 24.5 percent of 16-year-olds had a license, a 47-percent decrease from 1983.
By: Savanna Pruitt
Once upon a time, most teenagers couldn’t wait to get their driver’s license. They’d wake up on the morning of their 16th birthday, itching to get to the DMV and sit for hours until their name was called and they were able to take their driving test. They’d (hopefully) pass the test, have their beautiful (also hopefully) picture taken, and take the car out for a spin to show off to their friends.
Nowadays? Not so much. In 2014, just 24.5 percent of 16-year-olds had a license, a 47-percent decrease from 1983.
- The Era of the Rideshare. The argument can be made that there are plenty of other people to drive you from place to place (Mom, Uber, Lyft, etc.) – why do you need to do it yourself?
- So Much to Do, So Little Time. You have basketball practice. And then your ACT Prep class. And then homework. And then binge-watching The Office on Netflix. Wait—did you even remember to eat dinner? Who has the time to learn to drive?
- It’s Scary. Period. Maneuvering a two-ton hunk of metal down the interstate is intimidating. You’re responsible for yourself and also partially for others. That’s a lot of pressure.
- Have Wheels, Don’t Need to Travel. In a world experienced through Snapchat, FaceTime, and Twitter, you really don’t need to leave the comfort of your room to hang out with your friends.
If you’ve deferred to one of these reasons as to why you haven’t gotten around to getting your driver’s license—we think you should reconsider. Getting your license now is important, and here’s why:
- Get Ready to Go. You never know when an emergency situation will arise that requires you to get behind the wheel. While you might not necessarily need to drive your own car around town on a daily basis, it is vitally important that you learn to drive safely and obtain your license.
- The Time is Now. Though it may not seem like it, you probably have more unstructured time now than you will as you get older. If you put off learning to drive and getting licensed, you’re likely going to keep running out of time and putting it off. Go ahead and take care of it now.
- Practice Makes Perfect. Here’s a secret: Putting it off won’t make it any less scary.Driving is a huge responsibility, and it can be a little intimidating at first. However, if you go ahead and start practicing now, you’ll have plenty of time to get over that initial nervousness and develop your defensive driving skills.
- Face-to-Face. Electronic relationships aren’t the same as real, in-person ones. Get your license, hop in your car, and go see your best friend IRL (in real life, for the texting shorthand-challenged.)