Driving: a deep dive into the complexities that come with this big privilege

Autumn Zusman, Editor-in-Chief

Since they were young, teenagers have dreamed of the independence of driving on their own, but as teenagers of more modern generations turn 16 there seems to be no rush to achieve this freedom. 

In previous generations, all people wanted to do when they were 16 was get their license the first day that they could. Now, more often than not, teens are waiting to get their license, and there are a few main reasons that may explain this delay. 

For one, the process of getting a license now is much more prolonged with many steps compared to what it used to be 50 years ago. When trying to get a license, people must pass the standard permit test, but when they do pass it, instead of just waiting six more months to take their driving test and practicing with a parent, they must now  take three lessons with a driving instructor and complete at least 50 hours during the day, and 10 hours of driving at night with an adult over the age of 25. 

“The permit process took a long time and finding the time to practice driving was difficult, so I got my license late,” senior Vy Le said. 

Another reason teens may wait to get their license is that there is just more to do now than there was in the past. This can be attributed to social media and the internet. In the past, the only option to see friends and family used to be by driving to see them, but now many teens have the access to Facetime, texting, calling, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter to see what friends might be up to. With the use of the internet, people can also call their friends to come pick them up, making it not as necessary to get a license as soon as they turn 16. 

“I didn’t see the need to get my license right away because I had other people to drive me around,” senior Kailyn Deno said. 

With school now getting out at 3:45 p.m., and most people are not able to get out of traffic until about 4 p.m., it eliminates the option to go get a permit, or take the driving test after school. Most DMVs close at 5 p.m., but because of long lines and wait times, many people are not able to take tests before the DMV closes for the day. 

Sports practices also prevent athletes from being able to take these tests without missing practice, which often results in them not playing in the next game. 

“With my busy sports schedule and having practices right after school, getting to the DMV during their limited hours made getting my permit difficult,” junior Kaitlin Surber said.