Today’s Teens are Avoiding Driving

Teens are Delaying Receiving their Driver’s Licenses, Here’s Why.

Across the United States the ages of teens getting their licenses has been rising. Teenagers are waiting longer to get their driver’s licenses and even to start the process of getting a permit. Even at Fremont High School, the drivers education teachers have noticed an increase in the age of students in their classes and taking their road tests.

These statistics beg the question, what is causing this procrastination in teens getting their driver’s licenses?

Receiving a driver’s license has long been seen as a sort of “right of passage”, or something that has to be completed before you can be seen as an adult. Plus, in the past if you wanted to get anywhere you had to drive yourself or find a ride. Which could be incredibly difficult.

Nowadays, there are several different ways that you can get from place to place without a license. Uber and Lyft are apps you can download that allow you to get a ride in exchange for a fare. Businesses like these make it easier for teens and adults to get around without the need for a license. 

Another reason that adolescents are delaying receiving their licenses is a fear of driving. Driving can be incredibly intimidating, especially the thought of driving alone. The number of teens in car accidents, and deadly accidents, are higher than any other age. These facts are advertised to teens for years and used as almost a “scared straight” program. Of course teenagers will be safer and more attentive drivers if they know that, according to a study from 2019 completed by the CDC, an average of seven teens died due to motor vehicle crashes daily, and hundreds more were injured to the extent of hospitalization, once again, daily. 

This idea of scaring new drivers into being more cautious does work, but it also can cause some teens to avoid getting their licenses due to a fear of driving. 

Yet another reason that some teens have delayed the process necessary to receive their licenses is their parents. Some teenagers are scared of the consequences of driving, but it’s arguable that more parents worry about the safety of their teenagers on the road than the teens do themselves. This fear can cause some parents to hesitate, and in some cases entirely avoid, letting their 15, 16, and 17 year old children drive.

Any teens considering getting their driver’s license should go through the process and receive it, despite the reasons to put it off. In fact, one driver’s ed teacher here at Fremont High believes that teenagers should start the process by getting their permit and taking driver’s ed as soon as possible, at 15. 

Mr. Stoffers explained that learning to drive is like throwing a free throw. It’s impossible to either drive well, or throw a perfect free throw without practice and instruction. Driver’s Education provides that instruction and allows students to practice driving safely for at least the short time that they are in range. Besides those times teens should also complete their 40 hours of driving with an adult before taking the tests required for a teen to receive their license.

For many years receiving a license has been viewed as a sign of trust, responsibility, and maturity. If teens today are delaying receiving their license, what does that mean for them?

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