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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Keep Calm and Carry On: Driving Edition

There is an existing stigma that learning to drive is a bad thing. That it is expensive and a waste of time. However, driving is incredibly beneficial and actually saves one time and money.

Teens at the age of fifteen and a half (this may be different from states outside of California) are eligible to receive their permit. This permit requires one to take Drivers Ed. This can be done online or in-class. Drivers Ed gives specific info on laws present in any state and instructions on what to do in tricky situations (Do you know what to do when your car is hydroplaning? Pshhh. I didn't think so). After one finishes Drivers Ed, they take a written test of about 45 multiple-choice questions at the DMV. This first step is where most people chicken out. They see the money it costs to pay for Drivers Ed and the time it takes to do Drivers Ed and book appointments. 
These vehicles have no affiliation
with the Italian Job.
Upon passing the written test, future drivers receive their permit. Their permit allows them to drive with an adult. Teens must hold their permit for six months (Think it seems forever? If Tom Hanks can last four years on an island with a beach ball, you can wait six months to get your license.) and complete six hours of be8nd-the-wheel driving lessons. This six-month period was pretty helpful for me as I became acquainted with my dad's Corolla and my mom's minivan. This second step is where teens wimp out yet again. People do not want to spend that much time and also do not want to pay for lessons. 

They may look simply happy on the
outside... but they are bursting with
uncontrollable joy on the inside.
The third step is both the hardest and easiest. The practice from the previous six-month period is then assessed in a fifteen-minute test (No. Not a four hour NASCAR race against other anxious teens - however, that would make a good sequel to the Hunger Games!). While teens can easily feel anxious for the test, it is important to remember Winston Churchill's words, "Keep Calm and Carry On." As soon as the test is passed, one can drive all by themself. No more lessons or practice sessions. No studying out of a book. Once the test is passed and one has insurance (this is the hard part), the new driver is free to drive themselves places. After a full year, one can drive their friends too. 

While people are concerned about the cost and time it takes, the freedom benefits everyone. First of all, you get the process out of the way so that you don't have to do it alone when you are twenty. Secondly, the cost of insurance and the permit test won't change when you are an adult. Why not get it out of the way sooner? As a bonus, driving is an enormous help to parents. Now teens can pick up their siblings, take care of their own ride to school, and even go grocery shopping. I save more time using a car than I do for anything else. It gives me control over what I want to do. I encourage all high schoolers to start driving now! 

by Rebecca B., Homework Assistant

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