SIXTEEN AND READY TO DRIVE… OR NOT
Sixteen-year-olds are less excited to drive than ever before. People have been ecstatic to get their hands on the wheel since the late 1800s when cars were first invented. However, studies show that the excitement to drive has made a steady decline over the past thirty years. So what is causing people, teenagers, in particular, to not be happy to get their license?
An ongoing study done by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute shows that “…the number of high school seniors who drive dropped from 87.3 percent in 1999 to 71.5 in 2015, a record low for the age group.”
Even in the movies, it shows teenagers running outside on their sixteenth birthday, hoping that their parents got them the car that they had been wanting. This common stereotype says that high schoolers have been dreaming of their first car since the day that they were born. Thirty years ago, this may have been true, but now a lot of these students are praying NOT to get a car.
When asked how she feels towards driving, Blair Ayscue, a sophomore at Apex High School, quoted, “Honestly, I hate driving. The entire time that I’m behind the wheel, I’m constantly thinking about how I could get into a wreck and die at any moment. Plus, with all of the other things that I have to deal with at school, getting my permit and practicing for 60 hours is a lot to add on top of everything else.”
Two reasons why some students are not interested in getting their licenses are:
- Driving can be extremely scary. Throughout the Driver’s Education course, students must watch multiple videos of people, their age, being killed in car wrecks and are thoroughly informed of terrifying statistics.
Edgar Snyder & Associates, a personal injury law firm, states that “An average of nine teens ages 16-19 are killed every day from motor vehicle injuries.”
Along with this statistic, students are also told that hundreds of other teens are injured through vehicle contact each day. With these images and statistics engraved into their minds, driving can seem like a pretty life-threatening activity.
- Because of insurance policies, car accidents, with teens as the driver, are incredibly expensive. Expense rates in past generations were much lower than they are today, which means that teens were not quite as stressed about accidents as they are now. However, in today’s world, because high schoolers are much more likely to get into an accident than others, insurance companies do not cover nearly as much as they would on someone over nineteen years old. With people knowing that they may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines or damage repair, it can be extremely stressful in one’s life, let alone a teenager’s.
Teenagers tend to lead very stressful lives these days and although driving may seem like something to look forward to, it can actually add to the stress. Ongoing studies prove that over time, high schoolers are becoming less and less excited to drive. This is because being behind the wheel of a car is alarming, especially when aware of the fact that they are putting their own lives at risk. They are also nervous because if an incident were to occur, which statistics show is very likely, they would be in serious debt. Although driving is mostly seen as a luxury, teens nowadays are more afraid than ever to be behind the wheel. How will future generations be affected?