Day 57: Driving

I don’t have my driver’s license yet. I’m nearly 18 years old and I cannot legally drive a car without a parent next to me. This is super abnormal for someone my age, as most of my peers have had their licenses for nearly 2 years and are as mobile as an iPhone. They always say how getting their license was amazing as it gave them independence and freedom to meet with friends and things of that sort.

For me, there was not really any big reason to get my license. I’m not a very social person so that wasn’t really a reason to risk my life on a consistent basis. Most of the time, I would rather stay at home anyways. Driving frankly is a very scary prospect to me. A car is a huge hunk of metal and some other materials barreling down roads with rules that no one seems to follow. A slight mistake in maneuvering this ton of material could result in deaths and injuries and incredible wastes of money. For people aged 5-34, car accidents are the leading cause of death.

I’ve personally been in two car accidents, neither of which resulted in injuries but were extremely stressful as an 8 year old sitting in the front seat. Time seemed to slow down and seeing the minivan that I knew so well crumple like a sheet of paper underscored the fragility of these machines that we took for granted. The other accident was minor, a negligent driver asking, “where did you come from?” after he shattered the headlight of my dad’s Honda Civic. These events always made me nervous in cars and only now have I started to become comfortable with having car doors unlocked while I’m inside.

All of this seems like a bundle of excuses, but in reality I have very little desire to get a license. I just don’t like the ridicule I inevitably face when I share that I lack some piece of plastic that many people don’t drive well enough to deserve.

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