Teen Driving


As teens approach adult life, one of the main steps is learning to drive. Driving is a main facet of growing up because it means claiming independence in transportation and location. Many teens rush to learn to drive while many procrastinate. Why?

Some teens are anxious to drive. In fact, about 1 in 4 of them are too scared to even get behind the wheel. A lot of them are nervous about carrying the responsibility of a car. They fear being independent in their transportation after relying on their parents and other adults for so long. They also have the responsibility of a motorized vehicle and therefore are responsible for the safety of others on the road. Many teens may be paranoid about crashing or hitting pedestrians in the road because a car can be a deadly vehicle.

On the other side of the spectrum, some teens are craving independence. They want to be able to drive to their jobs, meet with their friends, or run errands. “I go out in my car every day. It’s essential because my parents are out most of the time.” says senior Camille Bertet. Many of them have conflicting schedules with their parents so if they cannot be in control of their own transportation they will not be able to attend school, or any other appointments they have. 

However, there may be a lull in teen driving. There are teens who are procrastinating learning to drive from sheer lack of motivation. “I want to be able to drive but the exam and studying for it seem so daunting.” says junior Eva Guile. This is similar to how many other teens feel. With rideshare apps, carpools, and the ability to travel close distances, teens feel less of a need to drive.

It is fair for some teens to feel anxious about driving. Motor vehicle fatality is the leading cause of death in teens. Immaturity, recklessness, and inexperience are the main reasons for this. Teens do not always think rationally and want to drive fast to get to a party on time or impress their friends.

“I really like driving. I’m safe on the road too. I think teens should start learning to drive early. It’s like everything in life, the earlier you learn, the better you get at it later on in life,” says senior Yadira Estrada. This sentiment is prevalent in responsible teens. Practice is also very important to master such an essential life skill.

Is there a solution to make teen driving safer and more effective? Yes. Driving should be mandatorily taught in schools. It must be tailored to the teen psyche because they need proper motivation and an instructor to learn. In the 80s this was more common and there were higher rates of driving teens.

The path to learning to drive is different for everyone. Slow or fast pace, in the end it only matters that one has learned. The path to adulthood isn’t easy but learning to drive can be the first step.