Most teenagers start to dream about the day they can drive as soon as they turn thirteen. Sixteen seems so much closer once you’re actually a teenager! Obtaining the magic freedom card is an attainable dream for most, and an exciting and fearful time in the lives of parents everywhere. The stress and financial obligation of the lessons, the extra car, and the insurance are extremely high, not to mention the emotions the entire family goes through as one by one, the children become old enough to learn how to drive and gain the ability to take themselves places that their parents once had to taxi them to.
Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for a young adult, and is an exciting time, but this wonderfully terrifying experience affects the whole family emotionally and financially. The whole family is emotionally involved in a teenager getting his/her driver’s license. Parents fear for their own lives when teaching their teenagers how to drive. They are in fear that their child will wreck and hurt themselves or someone else.
Parents see their lives flash before their eyes as oncoming traffic flies by, not realizing there is an inexperienced driver behind the wheel. Even more terrifying is the times when teenagers get behind the wheel without the parents. With no one there to tell them what to watch for, what to do, when to stop, etc, how will they ever manage? Parents pace the floor gripping the phone, waiting from that call from the police. Siblings are also affected emotionally by teen driving.
Some are jealous of the new freedoms that their siblings now have and can’t wait to have their own too. Others are terrified as their newly licensed brother or sister transports them to the places their once overly cautious parents used to take them. The new driver also experiences fear, joy, and terror behind the wheel as all the new experiences of being a responsible driver are learned. Very few things are as expensive as transportation, and when a new teen driver gets his/her license, the family has to make some financial sacrifices.
There are costs involved in the training of the driver, first of all. The permit, permit test, driving lessons, and tests and license itself all cost money. When the license is actually acquired, the driver must be insured in most states, thereby forcing parents to add their children to their existing insurance policies or to buy separate insurance for the new driver. Sometimes parents cannot afford this cost and make the new driver find a job to help cover the costs. Some lucky drivers get automobiles from their parents, which is a huge expense.
Again, if there are payments on the vehicle, the family will either have to make some financial sacrifices to budget the vehicle in or ask the teen to contribute by getting a job. A common rite of passage is getting a driver’s license. In many bigger cities, some people don’t even bother getting one due to the availability of public transportation and the high costs involved with driving. However, many families choose to allow their teenagers to drive, and this places emotional and financial burdens on them that last for many years.