Student Driver: Please Be Patient



Learning to drive comes with plenty of dangers and lots of stress.

Izzy Costa, staff writer

Many newly 16-year-olds’ first time behind the wheel is panic-stricken and frantic. Fortunately, there is truly nothing to worry about…most of the time.

New drivers often start out in a DMV parking lot or the backroads of their neighborhood, but as their driving tests grow nearer, they end up on main roads, highways, and even merging lanes. According to sophomore Annika Good, “That’s when you start regretting the decision to get on the road.”

Good has had a few run-ins with road rage, but her most memorable one occurred in North Park. She describes a daunting scene for any young driver, in which the car behind her trails her intently. Good recalls that as she passes from a 35 zone into the park (the speed limit now being 25) the vehicle behind her lets out an agitated honk. 

Good ignores this, but as she continues onto a two-lane road, the irritating driver decides to make a move. The woman in the car passes Good at a speed well over the limit, and, much to Good’s dismay, flips her off. Good states that she held in her retaliation, but was indignant nonetheless. The worst part? Good’s vehicle was adorned with a “student driver” magnet.

Unfortunately, angry drivers are not the only obstacles teenagers face. One of the most heavily disliked aspects of driving is merging lanes. Sophomore Chase Timmerson describes this action in one word: “Horrific.”

Another newly licensed driver, Sophomore Elliana Vitale, agrees. She mentions that blind spots are still her fear, but she hasn’t been in any accidents yet. While on-road hindrances may be intimidating, almost everyone gets the hang of it in the end. Many upperclassmen at North Allegheny have been driving for a few years now, and they have some tips from the depths of the NASH parking lot. 

If you can’t park, don’t drive to school.

— Lizzie Bauer

Senior Lizzie Bauer gives an aggressive take on park jobs. “If you can’t park, don’t drive to school.” And despite parallel parking being an integral part of the driving test, it is rarely used in everyday life. Instead, focus on getting regular parking down pat, before you end up on the wrong side of the line, and on the wrong side of a senior.

Another senior, Allie Burns, gives a more grave description of driving. She says, “Pay attention on the roads because other people won’t.” Arguably, the most fear-inducing aspect of driving is the unexpected. It’s impossible to know when the next deer will freeze in your headlights, or when the next car will turn out in front of you, so paying detailed attention to the road around you is a top priority. 

Don’t let some of these formidable recollections scare you off the roads, though. Many students have noted that driving is fun, and receiving your license is the last string tethering you to your dependence. Just as long as you keep your eyes peeled for rebellious pedestrians and mini-van-driving Karens, the road is not as dangerous of a place as you might imagine.