Are we Driving Towards the Ditch?

In the immediate years before reaching the age of 16, I had many teachers remind us that driving was not a right. “There is no place in the laws of the United States of America that guarantees each and every person the right and freedom to drive a car,” they would state. It is up to us to prove we are capable in order to make use of the privilege.

Were they teachers trying to instill fear and responsibility into us? Yes. Of course they were. But I remember taking my written test for my driver’s license, and it was a far cry from a privilege. As soon as I answered the first 14 out of 20 questions correctly, I was free to tear up the streets with a lean, mean, potentially killing machine. That’s right, 14 correct answers, a quick drive around the block with an officer, and I was off!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed that it was simple enough to be able to drive. I had been driving all types of vehicles since I was a kindergartner (snowmobiles, boats, cars, trucks, ATVs, mopeds), so driving a car was simply the next progression towards true mobility. Even at 16 and wanting the formalities out of the way, it still seemed too simple. All I had to do was take this one test and I was good for the rest of my life to drive on any street in this country. Again, assuming I followed the rules. But what are the rules, and are we going about fixing driving in the wrong ways?

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