Opinion; New Drivers and their Challenges

Being a new driver (as of August) I’ve personally driven my mother and I to school every day for the past 2 or so months. As a result, I’ve had some time to make up my opinions on driving and other drivers, and of course, as one does, make up a sort of ‘list’ of the types of drivers you usually see on roads today. Most new drivers like myself are pretty reasonable and smart, but maybe a little too smart. Interestingly enough, I think you can tell when a new driver is driving based off of one rule: their speed in the passing lane. The passing lane is the leftmost lane on American roads, and it’s no different on US-1. Now usually, I stay in the right lane because I’m not the biggest fan of going 10 miles per hour (MPH) over the speed limit. However, it seems that whenever I get in the left lane to pass someone, the car in front of me is either going almost 15 MPH faster than allowed, or staying at the speed limit. Now, if they’re a new driver, they stay at the (usual) 55 MPH speed limit on US 1, which I’m a bit surprised they don’t know they can go above 55 in the left lane when trying to pass someone. If I remember correctly, you were taught that rule on your driving permit exam-I did my permit exam online, so maybe I’m out of touch, or have forgotten something. 

Next up on my list of issues to address is blinkers. Blinkers, oh blinkers, how underutilized you are. Why is it that so many people don’t know what a blinker is? For instance, I’ll be driving down US 1 during rush hour and a random BMW careens from the lane in front of me and almost hits me because I didn’t know he was switching lanes. Why? He didn’t use his blinkers. Blinkers are used to indicate alot of things, but most of the time it’s a turn down another road. But on the highway, blinkers are used to indicate when you are trying to change lanes. Now usually, you’re supposed to use the blinker as intended- but some people seem to have forgotten that. I’d wager almost 9/10 times I’m driving, someone who doesn’t use their blinker shoots in front of me and nearly hits me. This issue isn’t actually strictly related to other new drivers, it’s a very common problem across car drivers with all levels of experience.

View of the Overseas Highway from the air during the late evening (Miami Herald/Matias J. Ocner)

To finish with-I feel like new drivers are often misrepresented in modern media. They are usually described as inexperienced and untrustworthy-while, in my honest opinion, they seem to be very smart about how they drive for the first few months. I think this is because of the investment of requiring a parent/guardian in the car to operate it-which emotionally makes you very considerate when driving. However, when a new driver turns 16 and is allowed to drive practically anywhere they want, this investment is gone-thus causes teenage drivers to be sloppy and do ridiculous things with their cars. That is my opinion on new drivers and the challenges we face.

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