I’M JUST SAYING: Dangers deter driving for now, maybe forever

I'M JUST SAYING: Dangers deter driving for now, maybe forever

  It’s that time of year again when brand new drivers are finishing up the last of their drivers’ ed courses and rushing to the DMV to get their licenses. While these students rush to experience the newfound freedom of driving, I’m standing on the sidelines with a bucket of popcorn and a cup of cynicism. It’s rather peculiar that I’d prefer to stay bound to the chains of carpooling and school buses instead of getting behind the wheel, but my motives are justified, believe me.

  I’m not afraid to admit that one of the “driving” factors for my lack of vehicular desire is pure anxiety. A few courses of drivers ed and a couple of test runs behind the wheel have taught me that driving should be classified as its own science. Why do cars have so many controls? They’re just a few buttons short from a plane cockpit. Why do I need to practice five different methods just to decide the correct distance to turn? Why would anyone want to pilot these gargantuan metal death machines other than the adrenaline boost of getting on a highway full of people who value your life as much as they value a penny? 

  The risk of an accident is also a prevalent factor in my decision to stay in the passenger seat. Due to my meticulous way of going about everyday life and my regard for safety, I believe I’d be the last one to crash a car by myself. My problem is other drivers. If some hooligan without insurance decides he wants to give the Roadrunner a run for his money and slams into my car at Mach speed, I’d be the one suffering. There’s really nothing I can do short of psychic mind control to stop awful drivers from ruining my day, and it’s extremely frustrating. Not only that but if I do start driving, I’d only really drive to school, which is worse than it sounds. My peers can’t even walk down the hallway without causing chaos and crashing into others, so why should I have even a droplet of trust for them on the road? From my perspective, the school parking lot may just be a NASCAR racetrack.

  A future without a driver’s license doesn’t seem too awful for me, especially considering how the world of driving is changing. Automated, self-driving cars are beginning to become commonplace in our society, though it’ll be a while before I trust technology enough not to drive me off a cliff. Services such as Uber and Lyft are popping up across the globe, but the difference between my trust for AI drivers and my trust for a random guy who offered to drive me for payment through an app is minimal at best. My true savior is public transportation, something that’s been around long before the privileges we have today. I love Seminole, but at the end of the day, I more than likely see myself moving to a big city. If I move to the city, as long as I’m not short on change, buses and trains will always have my back. And if I forget my wallet, I’m confident there are a few of my buddies out there who wouldn’t mind giving me a ride.

  Perhaps I’m overestimating how difficult and terrifying driving will be. I’ve been told that my driving anxiety is a boon for me, that my desire for safety will guarantee I won’t be running into trouble often. All I can hope for is that I gain the courage to get behind the wheel of a machine that’s only second to disease and cancer in causing death, or that the drivers’ license becomes obsolete thanks to technology.