Ups and downs behind the wheel

Many teens look forward to driving, counting down the days until they turn 16 and can finally have that privilege. As exciting as driving is, most do not think of the cons that also come with driving.  


The dreaded question, “Mom! Can you take my friend and  me to the movies and then their mom will take me home?” With a license this is no longer a problem with new freedoms. “I get to go places whenever I want,” senior Cole Stanley said. 

Have an extravagant plan with friends to go to the beach, then stop at the mall for lunch, and then finally head to the movies? Well, this is one of the luxuries of having a license, any plan can come true. 

Having a car also becomes a personal space, like a bedroom on wheels. Keeping necessities in the car such as an extra jacket, snacks, and hygiene products is a major perk of having a license. “I can keep things in my car that I might need for after-school sports, ” junior Katelyn Hunter said.


As nice as this all sounds, not everything is perfect when having a license. Paying for the gas to get everywhere can add up. Recently, gas prices were at an all-time high, making some limit their driving. 

These costly gas prices make nobody want to drive more than they have to. Having to constantly pick-up and drop-off others is tolerable once in a while but then starts to become a drag. Nobody wants to bbe taken advantage of for their ability to drive. “Giving people rides is chill but it is time consuming” senior Calie Ngai said. 

Imagine driving down the road when a light turns on in the dashboard, meaning something else has to be fixed. It was just a few weeks ago when the tire light was on, and now it is the oil that has to be changed. Car repairs not only cost money but also take up time, as the car may be gone for a few days while it is in the shop. Besides car maintenance, cars should be washed and vacuumed or people will start writing on them with all the dust. 

The obvious con of driving are  the dangers. According to, driving is the most dangerous thing most Americans do every day. This is especially for 16-year-olds who are not the most responsible at first and could put many people at risk. Poway High requires a Start Smart class for a parking permit, for students to understand the responsibility they are given when behind the wheel. The class includes very graphic videos of real accidents that had happened to real people. 

After leaving the class,students have a whole new perspective. “It opened my eyes and made me more aware of how my actions can affect myself and others while driving,” sophomore Tatyana Maxwell said. As much as it is fun and convenient, it also comes with great responsibility.