Monday with Ms. Marvel: driver’s education


Morgan Kong

In her weekly column, Monday with Ms. Marvel, Wingspan’s Trisha Dasgupta reviews different political issues and relatable topics in everyday life.

Trisha Dasgupta, Staff Reporter

In American culture the 16th birthday is often associated with getting one’s driver’s license and maybe even a car. Many teenagers eagerly wait for the chance to earn their driver’s license, excited for the new freedom that comes with being able to drive. As a sophomore, many of my friends are approaching the revered day themselves, however, I’ve started to notice a troubling trend among teenagers; in the hurry to get their license, many aren’t taking driver’s education as seriously as they should. 

Unfortunately many teenagers view driver’s education as a hindrance in the process of obtaining their license, instead of an integral part. In an attempt to streamline the time it takes to earn their permit, and subsequently their license, many are opting out of in-person courses, choosing instead to breeze through online driving courses.

Now, online driving courses aren’t inherently bad. People learn in different ways and some prefer being able to set their own pace through a course. There is also the point that online courses can often be more convenient and affordable, making them a much more viable option than other alternatives. However, instead of reasons of convenience, many teens are choosing to take online driving courses as a way out of actually paying attention to the information presented. 

Driver’s education is incredibly important information and there is a reason why passing a written exam is a prerequisite to earning a driver’s permit. When teenagers choose to click their way through an online course instead of pausing to look through and read the material, they are putting themselves and others in danger. 

Too many teenagers don’t take driving, or driver’s education seriously, and the numbers show that. In 2017, 2,526 teen drivers were killed in crashes across the country, and nearly 2,000 teen drivers were killed by driving under the influence. Thousands of teenage drivers are seriously injured or killed in car crashes of their own doing, a fact that could be changed if more pay attention in driver’s education and start understanding the gravity of their decisions on the road. 

The fact of the matter is that driver’s education isn’t an arbitrary course that teenagers can afford to breeze through. There are plenty of affordable and convenient types of driver’s education courses that are available for students, so quite frankly there isn’t an excuse to skip out on these classes. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and if a teenager isn’t willing to pay attention to and learn vital information of the rules of the road, then they shouldn’t deserve to be out on the roads endangering themselves and others.