Getting a driver’s license is supposedly a right of passage for young people. It gives them a chance to explore their world while also escaping the prying eyes of their parents. But according to various reports, young people aren’t nearly as interested in getting a driver’s license as they used to be. Why is this?
Researchers offer two main reasons: (1) young people have less job security, so the cost of buying/running/insuring a car is prohibitive and (2) young people now connect on-line, so there’s less need for physical mobility when hooking up with friends. This is undoubtedly true, but researchers always seem to leave out the main reason kids are probably shunning driving:
Guys like Brad.
Brad is a middle-aged man who recently got cut off while driving. He pursued the drivers of the offending vehicle for twenty-five miles. When the other car stopped, Brad stopped as well, got out of his vehicle, and approached the two men he deemed to be his enemy. They were skinny young guys, likely in their twenties, and their combined weight appeared to be just shy of two hundred and fifty pounds.
In the ensuing scuffle, which resembled an arm waving contest, Brad got battered around like an inflatable punching bag. He got knocked down. At which point his wife handed him a gun (it’s always important to have a gun around if you plan to start fights that you can’t win). So Brad invoked his Second All-Man-dment rights and fired a bullet at his enemy’s truck.
And missed. Which is understandable. A truck is a small target when it’s thirty feet away. The bullet then sailed into the side of a house across the street.
Oops. It looks like someone’s day just went from Brad to worse.
Brad got charged with five counts. His wife got hit with two. Their toddler (who was in the back seat during the incident) avoided all charges. Fortunately, no one got hurt (that is, if you rule out Brad’s nose).
Say what you will about declining test scores in math and reading — young people are definitely getting smarter. They see something like this and they say “driving is just not worth it.” They know how pointless it is to risk your life because some angry guy sees threats where none exist.
These young people might be onto something.