I have noticed a growing trend in teenagers taking longer to get their drivers licenses. I wondered if we parents just made it too easy to use us as constant chauffeurs. However, in the process of teaching my older daughter to drive, I have discovered a different reason.
She is scared and overwhelmed by all of the inconsiderate drivers around her (”What do 42% of drivers do on the JFX? Hint: It’s not safe,” April 27).
She drives the speed limit and we have the magnet on the back of our car that indicates a student driver. Still, other drivers tailgate her, speed around her in illegal passing areas, honk at her and more. We get on the beltway on Sunday morning early and people are going 80 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone and going across lanes in front of and behind her to get ahead.
She doesn’t want to get behind the wheel because of all of this and I can’t blame her. Yet where will we be if our children cannot learn to drive and have a reasonable environment in which to do it? I realize not all teenagers share these feelings, but it is a lot more than it used to be. Some of her friends who have their licenses are scared of the interstate and will only drive back roads.
The next time you are impatient, consider that the driver ahead of you may be a new driver trying her best to learn. Please give some grace and understanding and drive the way you would want your kids to learn. It is in everyone’s best interests for new drivers to build confidence and not more fear.
Kimberly Ashby, Bel Air
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