Okay, so you don't really have to stay off the roads, because I still won't be driving all over town. But I passed the test and got my license and can now legally drive wherever and whenever my little heart desires. But guess what. I'm not 16. Nope! And I'm not 17 either. Keep going. Keep those guesses coming. I'm 23. Which is why this is such a big deal for me.
You see, when I was in school and the rest of my class was taking the driver's ed program given through the school, I opted out simply because I was too scared to take on the responsibility and too scared to get behind the wheel after constantly hearing of accidents on the news. Which mind you, is actually a good thing that I realized driving is not to be taken lightly. It's a big responsibility with a lot of laws to learn but even more than just learning the rules, you have to BE a safe driver to help keep the roads safe for other cars, pedestrians, and yourself. I think most teenagers just think of it as exciting since they can now go wherever they want and get to drive a car like grownups. Girls, hear me out:
SAFETY. SAFETY. SAFETY.
There are no excuses for reckless driving. There are many adults and teens alike who don't take it seriously when they hear people say things like, "don't drink and drive", "keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone", and "click it or ticket". These aren't just fun things to say. They can actually save lives - your life. I wish I didn't have to tell you this but yes, I went to school with a girl who unfortunately was the victim of unsafe driving. Apparently the driver was coming home from a night shift and, exhausted from a long day, fell asleep at the wheel. The ending is not a happy one. The girl and her sister were walking at the side of the road since there was no sidewalk. It was dark and since the driver was falling asleep at the wheel, one of the girls was struck and killed.
So, no. Driving should not be seen as a cool thing teenagers can just have fun doing. Yes, it's exciting to have some freedom, but freedom comes with responsibility - the responsibility of being a safe driver. I cannot stress this enough.
So, here I am - 23 years old and just starting to drive. This opens up many doors for me, but for me it's exciting since once and for all, I conquered my fear of driving. That's what makes it exciting for me.
I doubted myself. I was scared. But I conquered them both and saw a miracle happen! Actually, I saw a lot of miracles that day. First we had to go home because we couldn't find the registration (it was home). Then we realized our insurance card had expired and we hadn't received the new one in the mail. Luckily they didn't make us turn around. They told us to call our insurance company and have them fax it over. Done. Then, during the actual test, all the things broken in our car worked perfectly! The broken window rolled down and back up again (when it usually doesn't). The blinkers turned off on their own when I turned (sometimes I have to manually turn it off). It was amazing!
All that hard work of studying, learning, and practice finally paid off. But just because I passed and have my license doesn't mean I can start taking risks. Rules are rules and they're set in place to keep us safe. Don't abuse your privilege.
Stay safe :)