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Old 03-25-2020, 01:25 PM
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Do you think that learning to drive is a rite of passage?


Well I was wondering if you think learning to drive a car is a rite of passage similar to an 18th birthday party or a 21st birthday party or getting married. And if you think someone doesn't have disabilities people have the absolute right to learn to drive a car. And do you feel everyone should have the advantage of driving a car in various areas around? What do you actually think about all this?
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:34 PM
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It was considered a bit as such when I was growing up, and, judging by talking with friends who have teenagers, it does seem to be a right of passage still where I am (Chicago). It is not the case universally, though, at all.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:44 PM
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It even varies within the same family. One of my kids couldn't wait to drive as soon as legally possible. The other was perfectly happy to get around to it at 20, when it could no longer be avoided.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunmurry View Post
Well I was wondering if you think learning to drive a car is a rite of passage similar to an 18th birthday party or a 21st birthday party or getting married. And if you think someone doesn't have disabilities people have the absolute right to learn to drive a car. And do you feel everyone should have the advantage of driving a car in various areas around? What do you actually think about all this?
Why are you ruling out disabilities? People with disabilities can and do drive, often with specialized controls in their vehicles.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:07 PM
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And do you feel everyone should have the advantage of driving a car in various areas around?
Yes.

Unless the "various areas" include my front lawn, living room etc.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:08 PM
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It was a big rite of passage for me because of our family rule - no license till you could afford your insurance and gas. I was 17 before I'd saved enough to pay for driver's ed and cover my expenses. Even then, I was the 3rd driver in a 1-car family, so my time behind the wheel was limited.

Didn't get my first car till I was 21, living in my first apartment.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:29 PM
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I do feel it is a right of passage, but also it's a important skill to possess even if they don't plan on owning a car or are planning a city life of public transit. Learning to drive as a right of passage is something one teaches to a (older) child, not a adult (yet). It is a child learning a adult skill that they can chose to use or not when they obtain adulthood. It opens the door if that person chooses to drive.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:54 PM
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I'm wondering why the OP has an obsession about learning to drive, given that he started a similar thread here a couple of weeks ago: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=891352

Last edited by kenobi 65; 03-25-2020 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:17 PM
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I'm wondering why the OP has an obsession about learning to drive, given that he started a similar thread here a couple of weeks ago: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=891352
To my experience, some adults who've never learned to drive a car have hang-ups and resentment about the role of driving in society. It probably has a lot in common with learning to swim (which I have never done, now pushing 50).
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:53 PM
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No, not everyone should have the advantage of driving a car in various areas around.

In my opinion a driver's licence should not be granted unless the driver passes one or more tests and should be revocable by due process of law.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:09 PM
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In my culture, obtaining the right to drive was an important gateway to adulthood, even if you didn't drive, and didn't own a car. Particularly if you didn't drive, and didn't own a car. Because for those people who had to drive, and had to own a car, the symbolic significance was relatively much smaller.

I think that parents shouldn't prevent their kids from learning to drive, or from getting a job. Apart from that, I don't see any constitutional or international right-to-drive. If your parents think you shouldn't drive at night, or while drunk, or into the CBD, then I think you've just got to suck it up, get a job and move out.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:28 PM
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I do not feel "everyone should have the advantage of driving a car in various areas around", which is why various urban areas are experimenting with congestion charges, not to screw people but to the extent they actually succeed in reducing congestion/pollution and getting people to avoid unnecessary trips.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:27 PM
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I grew up in the suburbs of NJ so driving was essential and I took my driving test on my 17th birthday. It was a big deal. I didn’t know anybody that didn’t have a license when they were old enough. My wife grew up in Brooklyn and didn’t get her license until she was in her late ‘30s.

My girls are 17 now and we live in the city and they’re like ‘oh yeah, we should get on that’ but there’s zero urgency. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal with their friends either. The big deal was 16th birthday parties.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:33 PM
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Even in 1999, when I turned 16 and got my license, there were kids who didn't seem as keen on it. California had recently implemented a tiered system with additional restrictions on young drivers. To get your license at 16, you had to take driver's ed (which was no longer offered at my high school; I think my parents paid two grand for my private course), you had to have gotten your permit 6 months before, and you had to have logged 50 hours of supervised driving with a parent. Then, upon getting your license, you couldn't drive with anyone under 18 for 6 months, and IIRC you couldn't drive after midnight for a year, though there were some limited exceptions for transporting siblings or coming home from work (but you needed a note from your parents). If you just waited till you were 18, you could skip all that and just walk in, take the test, and get a license with no restrictions. Some of my friends did that. I couldn't understand it. Getting my license was my proudest moment, and while I recognize that things I've done since are intrinsically bigger accomplishments, nothing has recaptured that feeling.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:40 PM
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It's a rite of passage, but an optional one. You don't have to get married, either.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:51 PM
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Yes, it is a rite of passage, for many teenagers. (Note the spelling. It's not the same thing as a right.)

It's something that adults do, and children don't. So learning to drive is one sign that "now I am an adult."

As that earlier thread noted, a lot depends on where you live. Being able to drive is significantly more important (and, not being able to drive is significantly more of a disadvantage) in some localities than in others.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:57 PM
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Yes, it is a rite of passage, for many teenagers. (Note the spelling. It's not the same thing as a right.)
God dammit. Auto fingers. Yes, "rite of passage."
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:18 PM
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There must be a bit of a class thing, since in many cases driving a personal vehicle is seen as an important middle-class milestone or even essential to be able to get and keep a job, while the upper crust can employ a chauffeur to drive them around, sport driving enthusiasts notwithstanding (they drive for their own pleasure, not because they have to).
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:28 PM
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No, learning to drive a car is too easy to be a rite of passage.

Last edited by Jim Peebles; 03-25-2020 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:30 PM
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No, learning to drive a car is too easy to be a rite of passage.
There's nothing to say a rite of passage needs to be difficult. For many of us growing up, getting a driver's license incurred certain rights and responsibilities that signify their in a different stage of their life. Once I turned 16 I had a degree of independence I didn't have before making it easier to get a job and to date.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:02 AM
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For me, some combination of learning to drive, getting licensed, and getting a car, felt like a rite of passage. I grew up in rural America where the closest house was not visible and the closest store was miles away. Someone without access to driving is very much not a full participant in typical society in this scenario. The passage is into full participation (of a kind).

But I certainly know teens today for whom the distinction seems much less important.

By the way, I never saw any of those birthdays as rites of passage. Marriage, employment and economic independence, living alone, and to a lesser extent home ownership each seemed more of a rite of passage than any birthday. Even the rite of passage for legal drinking age didn't seem so significant because there were different ages for different states and different kinds of alcohol, IDs had no photos, and enforcements seemed lax compared to today.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:20 AM
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No, learning to drive a car is too easy to be a rite of passage.
???

In many cultures, simply turning a certain age and going through a ceremony is a "rite of passage." How in the heck is learning to drive a car any easier that those rites of passage?
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:51 AM
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No, learning to drive a car is too easy to be a rite of passage.
What if it's a manual?
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:36 AM
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In many cultures, simply turning a certain age and going through a ceremony is a "rite of passage." How in the heck is learning to drive a car any easier that those rites of passage?
Yeah, what if you learn to drive in Boston? Dealing with the rotaries and those crazy drivers is one hell of an indigenous culture challenge.
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:04 PM
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I've never heard of difficulty being a necessary element for a rite of passage. In fact, that seems counter to the idea. A rite of passage is something everyone or nearly everyone goes through to mark a transition in life. If it's so difficult that a significant number of people can't do it, then it's not really a rite of passage anymore. Becoming a doctor, finishing a marathon, writing a best-seller-- those are significant life events that anyone should be proud of, because they are difficult enough that most people don't manage to do them. But they're not rites of passage. Learning to drive, registering to vote, getting married-- those are rites of passage, even if not everyone does them, specifically because (not in spite of the fact that) pretty much everyone can do them, and most people do.
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