It’s been far too long since your sixteenth birthday. You scroll through social media, watching videos of your friends passing their driving tests. Driving seems like an excellent activity — a step toward freedom and “truly” becoming an adult. And yet, you find the same excuses when this question comes up.
“Have you started driving?”
If you find yourself in this scenario, you aren’t alone. Many other teenagers meet the age requirement to pursue a license yet feel nowhere close to earning them. Let’s take a moment to explore why learning to drive seems so overbearing, and no, it’s not because you’re falling behind.
#1. You Don’t Understand the Process
Depending on your state, there are various requirements to earn permits and driving privileges. One of these includes driver’s education courses. Back then, driver’s ed was taught in high school. Teenagers used to be expected to learn how to drive collectively, and many institutions no longer offer these services.
Then comes the permit test, which is challenging for many teens. Keep in mind that this process can vary for everyone. It’s no wonder why teens feel overwhelmed to start! You will feel alienated from driving if you do not understand the tasks before you.
#2. The Stakes are Higher
Cars are expensive to insure and fix. Both minor damages and accidents have negative financial impacts on many families. Gas and alternative fuels are costly, and long distances take a toll. Driving to that busy school dance no longer seems worth it in times of inflation.
The roads aren’t forgiving of mistakes. Vehicular accidents and casualties threaten the safety of drivers and pedestrians daily. Driving while inexperienced is a potential hazard, prompting many teenagers to wait until they practice with adults.
#3. You Don’t “Need” To Learn
Many young adults have a reliable method of transportation to get from place to place. For example, Uber and Lyft have simplified getting a ride. If an inability to drive hasn’t impacted your daily life, you could feel unmotivated to earn a license.
Demands that impact your current situation take prominence over those who don’t. After all, it’s crucial to prioritize finals week over a future permit exam. So, teens use one quick solution: leaving that license on the back burner.
If you believe that driving would benefit your life, you will prioritize it over others who don’t. Your current stressors and commitments determine your attitude toward driving.
#4. You’re Denied Permission to Drive
Often, parents don’t allow their teens to drive for various reasons. Some parents aren’t able to afford to give their children these privileges. Others don’t wish to enroll their teens in driver’s education programs. For minors, learning to drive is typically up to the parents.
It’s a responsibility that should be granted only to those who practice safe driving habits. These situations can vary for everyone since there is no single reason for a parent’s rightful choice over these privileges.
#5. Hardship and Life Changes
Events such as the death of a loved one or switching schools result in high levels of stress, which impacts a person’s quality of life. For many teenagers, extended duties can make committing to earning a license challenging. Focusing on self-care and personal health is crucial if you are going through difficult times.
When young adults receive the support they need, they can explore new interests and form new priorities. Learning to drive is time-consuming, so many teenagers manage their stressors before starting. Adapting to life changes before reaching milestones is a healthy step forward. Remember, this process should begin when you are fully prepared.
#6. Reluctance Toward Additional Duties
You will hesitate to earn your license if it’s tied to errands. Driving your little brother home from a soccer match certainly doesn’t sound appealing. The process of driving can seem increasingly burdensome to teens who have busy schedules and limited time. After all, if your plate is full, why add driving to it?
Being familiar with your vehicle and its required maintenance is a step toward feeling confident on the roads. Before committing, young adults must first understand the basics and their tasks.
#7. Driving is Expensive
Learning how to drive requires consistent practice and certified instruction. This can be costly, considering the amount of fuel you must use. Getting insurance also isn’t cheap, especially for the teenage age group. Combine all these factors, and driving becomes a load of fees.
Deciding not to drive in times of financial hardship is a reasonable choice. It’s a significant responsibility for teenagers and their families, so saving money and sharing vehicles is handy. Exploring your options can help prepare you for the road.
Will I Learn How to Drive Eventually?
If driving is your goal, remember that you must first take small steps toward earning your license. Be patient as you navigate the learning process with your parents and driving instructor. Remember that driving will eventually feel natural and even enjoyable. Like any other skill, it requires time and practice to master.
If you fear driving, consider the underlying causes of these apprehensive emotions. Does the task itself seem overbearing, or do the consequences seem unmatched? Changing your mindset toward learning and your circumstances can guide you to navigate this process over time.
Learning how to drive is a personalized experience. Everyone grows at different rates, and many have access to resources that others don’t. Many factors come into play, such as insurance costs and alternative transportation methods that dictate your decision.
After all, this matter is between you and your family. Why should others impede? So the next time that question flies out, never feel ashamed to say, “I’m still working on it.” Every experienced driver was a work in progress.