Signal, Turn Right to Your License
BY GEORGE JI '23
I'm on the verge of tears by the time we arrive back at the RMV parking lot, since I'm positive I won’t pass. But I do, and relief washes over me in an awesome wave.
Most teens get their driver’s license to become more independent. Whether you plan to drive yourself to school, or give your friends a ride every once in a while, enjoying the freedom to go wherever and whenever you want is an essential part of getting your driver’s license. But like most people, you probably haven't thought about it much beyond that. From my experience, here’s what happens when you get your license.
The first thing you might notice is that you need to get yourself some sunglasses. Especially at sunrise and before sunset, the sun can shine directly into drivers’ eyes, making it difficult to see the road ahead. Polarized sunglasses reduce glare, and for that reason, a nice pair of sunglasses can be a driver’s best friend when it comes to staying safe.
Another quirk of getting your license is that people will start asking you for rides, and sometimes you’ll offer them too. Not everyone has the time to get their license, so make sure to mention the fact that you can drive at every opportunity. You could even find ways to bring it up in conversation when it’s not really that relevant.
Still, despite your offers, you’ll often be driving alone, and, inevitably, you’ll realize that there's nobody watching you from the passenger seat. With this in mind, you might be tempted to drive above the speed limit. That would be illegal, so don’t.
Something else you want to watch out for is texting behind the wheel. After taking the learner’s permit exam, you might wonder why you’re required to know the many consequences of distracted driving. That’s because when you get your license, your phone gets flooded with texts from people who need a ride home. The best thing you can do in this situation is to simply cut out these toxic people from your life. Block them, ignore them, just say no.
After about a month of being on the road by yourself, you may find it difficult to empathize with those who still don’t have their license. You’ll start to see the pedestrians and cyclists on the street differently—not as people, but rather as obstacles in your path. In the back of your mind, you start identifying the people you know as either fellow drivers or roadkill. You’ll want to avoid the latter.