I was surprised to recently read that just over half of American teens get their driver’s licenses before they turn 18.
The cost of buying and maintaining a car is the main reason fewer teens are getting their licenses, according to the study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
I know that pain all too well. My car insurance payment is due in a few days, and it’s not easy picking up the extra cost of insuring a teenage boy. Besides that, it seems like the gas tank is always on empty.
Affordability isn’t the only concern. I know a number of families who withhold driving privileges because they don’t want their kids to be distracted from school work and extracurricular activities.
It’s also really scary to have a teenage driver. I’ve had many white-knuckled rides with my son.
Despite all the negatives, I wanted my son to drive as soon as he was eligible. To me, driving is one of those life skills no one can do without — like swimming and cooking.
I appreciate that he can run errands and drive himself to Scout meetings. He won’t be turned down for a job because he doesn’t have a driver’s license. And if he has kids of his own someday, he’ll be able to take his turn in the carpool.