Students, parents stress behind the wheel

Sitting behind the wheel, you eye the red light, waiting for the moment it turns green. As it changes color, the car jerks forward in a quick, surprising motion. Quickly after, the voice of the passenger riding shotgun rings throughout the car.

“PRESS THE GAS SLOWLY,” blurted the passenger. She has been sitting in the car for around an hour now, clutching her seat at every turn you have taken. As your teacher, she has to be next to you as you drive for the next nine months.

Starting off, teens are prone to make mistakes. With their parents by their side, teens tend to relax hoping that they are taught quickly and efficiently; eventually the student becomes irritated.

“I did get a little mad at my mom, I thought I was doing fine and focusing,” said sophomore Mitchel Gjerseth.

Although teenagers are desperately striving toward getting their licenses, some tend to pick up bad habits along the way. According to, one-third of the death of teenagers ages 13-19 are cause by motor vehicle crashes; to make matters worse, 16 year olds have the highest crash rate. New drivers should always be practicing their driving, especially with their parents. Statistically, only 56% of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive.

“I am so glad that I got my driver’s licenses. I can do so many more things but I think my parents helped me out a lot while learning to drive,” said sophomore Eli Parker.

Although teenagers may not mind the company of their parents, others think that their parents cause a distraction and makes them nervous. Trying to meet their parents’ expectations, teens often make mistakes which is followed by a reminder or a remark.

These complaints light a fuse inside the beginner who is behind the wheel. As the fuse dwindles down, the mood of some drivers also changes. They start to become a little annoyed and angry, wishing that their parents would let them drive peacefully.

“I do not mind driving with my mom, I already know the basics, so she does not really yell at me,” said freshmen Ashley Derus.

Even if you have been driving or just beginning, always remember to view your safety and your passenger’s safety first. You would think that wearing your seat belt should be an absolute, right?

Well, teens are twice as likely to wear their seat belt when their parents are in the car. And one more thing, the one you probably hear the most from, don’t text or call while driving. Recently, they’ve passed a law making it illegal for people age 18 and younger to operate their cellular devices while driving. Did you know that talking on the phone and driving doubles your chance of getting in an accident? It slows your reaction speed down to that of a 70 year old.

If you are learning to drive or just cruising, remember, safety first.