There are so many rites of passage in our lives, and passing our driving test is one of the big ones. Yet, lots of people cannot afford to get driving lessons now because a set of ten can cost in the hundreds, and a lot of parents simply can’t stump that amount of money, which is fair enough. But if you find ways around it to teach your children, it will open up a realm of possibilities. If you’ve got children who are young and completely keen on learning to drive as soon as they’re able it’s easy to get them behind the wheel, but there are many kids where it might be a hard sell. So if you really need to extol the virtues of driving, there are practical and personal reasons why your children should get their license. Tell them the following…
The travel opportunities are in abundance if you’ve got a car. As a way to go and see where you’re from, there aren’t many better ways to do it. Going for a trip in the car on a Sunday afternoon is one of life’s little pleasures. When Paul and Linda McCartney were first together, she would encourage him to “get lost” down long country lanes to instil some adventure in him. It’s not even those quiet country lanes where it works wonders, if you grew up in the same town and never left, you might not have bothered leaving much, which is a shame. So get in the car and see what’s about. There are many adventures to be had on the road.
It’s a space that’s uniformly yours, and it’s a great way to put your own personality on something. A car, if you use it all the time, becomes an extension of you in a way, and you’ll pepper it with things that are uniquely you, from your own taste in music to the interior, or even the seatbelts if you have a “blingy” child. Many people’s first car is like their first baby, and so they dress him/her up as they see fit. You can add a private number plate to show off the car as you want to, and it’s another way of personalising the car even more to your tastes, a personalised number plate can be the icing on the cake. Even brandishing the car with a unique scent is a simple thing to help personalise the car to your own style.
It’s a fact, cars are safer now, and it’s natural to not want to set foot in a car because of a near miss or concerns about the danger of driving, but cars are improving all the time. And with features like ABS (antilock braking system), ESC (electronic stability control), and traction control means that the worry of driving has been greatly reduced. And newer features are being added all the time, from FCW (forward collision warning) to adaptive cruise control, the act of driving has never been safer.
The most liberating thing about driving is that you are alone with your thoughts. When it’s just you and the open road, you can feel quite relaxed, even though you’re driving at a high speed. Jackie Stewart used to talk about that moment of Zen when he was racing, and it can’t be too dissimilar! That might be the reason that lorry drivers are lorry drivers for life! They must love their own company, the radio on, and the open road ahead of them. It’s like in Rocky IV, the whole flashback scene. It’s surprising how much clarity going for a little drive can give you. If you are travelling down the motorway at 1 in the morning, all by yourself, and the glow of the lamps guiding you home, it all seems quite romantic, and it’s definitely a much-underrated pastime.
The opportunities will open up for you in comparison to life without a car. You have to rely on the dreaded and unreliable public transport to get you places, which will no doubt make you late for work and really limit your opportunities for your career choices. If you want to live out in the sticks, but there’s no work for you, you will have to commute, and there is nothing more stressful than having to catch a train to catch a bus to walk up a large hill to work a full day, before doing the whole commute again in reverse. And if your train runs late, then your day will be messed up, and you’ll have to work later to make up the hours. As a thing of convenience, the car is hard to beat. Something as simple as going to the shops without a car might require some planning ahead. At least in the car, you can get to the shops, get in and get back out again.
The freedom on so many levels is something that you can’t underestimate. If you’re bored, you can go out for a drive. You can’t be bothered to cook, get in the car and get a takeaway. You want to go visit someone, go! And as trains are seemingly running later and later all the time, you cannot rely on public transport to get you to where you want in a decent amount of time. People say that you won’t know yourself when you get your first car because it doesn’t make you bound by timetables anymore. If you want to visit a friend that lives 300 miles away, you don’t have to catch four trains! And on that notion, having a car really helps in an emergency. If something arises, such as a family member being taken ill, or having to get somewhere right away, having a car will be a lifesaver! If you have family members dotted around the country, getting to them by car might be the quickest option of all.
It’s your ticket to responsibility, and for those people who found learning to drive stressful (which were all of us), it was probably because of the dangers of the road. But learning to drive isn’t just about the rules of the road; it teaches you how to be responsible. You see so many people driving like idiots all over the place, and it automatically makes you check that you’re driving safely. For those who have just passed their test, they tend to fall in one of two categories, the petrol head or the safe driver, and I know which one I’d rather be! There are people who have extreme fears of driving and just stopped one day, and never did it since. And when you look at it, it is a stressful activity because of the responsibility, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as you don’t act like any of the other idiots on the road and be responsible and obey the rules of the road, it’s what they’re there for!
You won’t know how you survived without it! For people who rely on public transport and never entertained the thought of learning to drive, they’re missing out on a lot. They are bound by timetables, getting soaked in the rain waiting for the bus that is already twenty minutes late. And it’s much more noticeable for someone who spends their day rushing for trains, getting a car after struggling for so many years can feel like a massive weight lifted. And for your children, it is a ticket to a larger world in so many ways!