Should I get my Driver's License?

I recieved my Driver’s Permit in December, and I have been driving since then, but only with my parents, and only 'till 7PM. I can get a full license in November, but now I’m very worried that I’ll have an accident. Just today, I did my first freeway driving on I-75, and I did OK, even though the speed limit was 70. But on the way back home, I was driving on Summerlin (4-lane divided, 55 MPH speed limit) when dad said, "stop, STOP, STOP! I immediately slowed down to see a Geo Metro appearently trying to get into the left turn lane ahead of me, but it was stopped, and only about halfway across - so it was in both lanes. The thing is, while I was looking ahead of me, and I saw the car, I unconsiously dismissed it. It was the weirdest feeling - I thought I was paying attention, but there was that car that came out of nowhere! The thing is, when I get my license, I’m supposed to drive to school every morning as soon as I get my license. If I can’t see a car 300 feet in front of me at 3 in the afternoon, how will I see anything at 7:30 in the morning? So…
Should I drive to school when I get my license?

“I like Florida; everything is in the eighties. The temperatures, the ages, and the IQs.”
– George Carlin


You’ve just learned a valuable lesson: Driving is inherently dangeous and should be approached as such. Remember this experience and you already have an advantage over the other brain donors on the road.

That aside, unless you live in NYC (or someplace w/ comparable public transit), Yes, get your license.

You WILL be involved in an accident, and you WILL get a ticket (probably both within the first 6 months). These things are a part of the experience. We all go through it.

Driving is an integral part of our culture. It provides you with the requisite level of mobility and independence. The person that doesn’t drive inhabits a point in our society just below a pedophilic leper.

As for whether you should drive to school, that is your choice. But, even if you never use it, the ability to drive is requisite.

What do you mean “you WILL get in an accident” ? Sure, I’ve gotten tickets, but I didn’t get one til I was 18 and I’ve only had 3 total… but I’ve certainly never been in an accident… (I’m 27)

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
OpalCat’s site:
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I live in L.A., don’t drive (because I hate driving) and get along just fine. Nobody treats me like a leper, because I don’t mooch rides.

If you don’t feel comfortable, wait a while. People who drive think it’s impossible to manage without. It’s not.


Yes, you should get your licence.

Even if you don’t use it much, it’s valuable for I.D. purposes.

And if you don’t have access to a car, you can always rent one if needed.

I got my licence when I was 16, but I did not become competent until at least a year later.

So, stay alert, assume everyone on the road is an idiot, and you’ll be okay.

If you live in a city with good public transportation, like LA or NYC, it’s easy to get along without driving. But for most people, a car really is necessary.

For instance, I live in a suburb of St. Louis, and work ten miles away. There are precisely zero buses or trains which service both my community and the area of my office. Were I not to have my own car, I would have precisely three choices:

  1. Mooch a ride from a friend, every day.
  2. Take a cab every day (paying $40 for the round trip).
  3. Quit, and find a new job near a bus route.

None of these options is at all sensible in my situation. Catrandom, the fact that you can get along without driving does not mean that everyone can.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

Gotta have that license. No question. Granted, in the bigger cities one could do without, but just HAVING it is plain useful.

And when you REALLY want to shit yourself, get on a plane, land in Amsterdam, rent a car and get your behind on the Amsterdam Ringway at, say, 18:00 hours. It’s a bit of Neanderthal Age meets Ben Hur meets Days of Thunder meets Carmageddon I & II. If you catch my drift.

Once you’ve mastered that, try Paris and Rome. For the real die-hards, London and Barcelona are highly recommended.

After these courses, I guarantee you, once back in the States you’ll never miss a Geo Metro again. Moreover, you’ll be able to spot an ant crossing the road at 200 metres distance while doing 200. Miles :wink:

But whatever you do, get that damn license. It’s very useful in life.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Get your licence, if you don’t want to drive then don’t drive, but if you do then you can. Don’t worry about the Geo incident, you pretty quickly get the hang of paying attention to the right things and ignoring the stuff you don’t need to see. One incident on only your second drive on a motorway is nothing to get too upset about. And ignore the doomsayers, driving isn’t all that difficult, you don’t HAVE to have an accident, I never have. It ain’t rocket science so don’t worry too much.


 Get your license. Driving, like most other skills, takes practice. For your age, you display an unusual sense of maturity in the fact that you are aware of your limitations.

 When I was 16, the year I got my license, I automatically thought I was a combination of Speed Racer and Mario Andretti. In short, I was sure of my super powers and invincibility. A few accidents and tickets, plus one totalled '64 Chevy Impala, gave me a shot of reality. I'm amazed I wasn't killed with all the unlawful drag racing I did.

As a police officer now, I see the results of bad driving splattered all over your freeways and major roads.

Coldfire, you're right about some of those European cities. I thought I had some pretty good driving skills until I was stationed in England in the mid-80s. Using the British roundabout system and mastering right-hand drive was a challenge. The ultimate test was driving in London. A feat I performed many times, and accomplished without killing or maiming anyone in the process. In addition, I've *actually* located the destination I wanted, and found *parking* in this city. I am still amazed, to this day.

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

Sorry - let me rephrase the question that I wrote last night in a haze. What I mean is, should I drive to school every morning as soon as I get my license? I have been getting a ride from a friend that lives nearby for all of this year and last, and so I kind of owe his mother for this, so it was agreed that when I got my license, I would drive James (the friend) to school until he got his license, in January. Now I’m just worried that I’ll do something stupid, being half-asleep, and kill us all, or put us in the hospital - although I might just do that if it meant no more chem homework! :wink:

“I like Florida; everything is in the eighties. The temperatures, the ages, and the IQs.”
– George Carlin

I say you should definitely drive to school. It’s a good thing to be concerned about safety. Since you have already realized that bad driving is dangerous, you’ll pay more attention to your own driving, and will be more likely to perceive and avoid potential accidents. This already puts you two steps ahead of most adult drivers.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

Get the license. You don’t have to drive if you don’t feel right doing it, but you never know when the urge will strike. And, as others have said, it’s the most universally-accepted form of identification.

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Most car rental places that I know of require you to be at least 18 and usually 21 before they’ll rent you a car. They don’t always actually check this closely, but they’re really not doing you a favor if they let you get away with it.

A friend of mine rented a car for his girlfriend’s senior prom and managed to park it upside down because he got confused by road construction (or the signs were wrong, or something; anyhow, he tried to take an offramp that didn’t exist yet). No one was really hurt, and the car wasn’t damaged THAT badly, but even though it was just cosmetic the repair cost was over a thousand bucks.

He winded up having to pay for it himself; the insurance he’d taken out refused to pay because he’d signed a paper stating among other things that he was in fact old enough to rent a car, and when he tried to press the point nasty words like “fraud” were being bandied about, so he concluded that discretion was the better part of valor.