Abstinence-Focused Driver’s Education

Lego man in car by boy with skateboard

“If cars were supposed to have more than one driver they’d have been made with more that one steering wheel.” What if we approached driver’s ed like we do sex-ed? 

The most important thing you can learn about driving is not to drive until you can afford to own your own car.  You really have no reason to drive until you own a car. So seriously, if you take nothing else away from me today… just wait! Don’t drive until you buy your first car… then and only then will you be ready to drive.

It is dangerous out there for those that choose to drive early, I can’t stress this enough.  If you get behind the wheel of a car before you can afford it you are more likely to get in a car accident than if you just didn’t get in the car. Accidents can ruin the rest of your life.

There are no safety features or laws are 100% guaranteed to protect you against getting into an accident. In fact things like air bags, seat belts, speed limits, traffic signs and the like just give you a false sense of security. Instead of keeping you safe they actually encourage you to want to drive because you feel like they will prevent you from getting in an accident.

Some people may say that experimenting with driving before you buy a car will help you prepare for the driving experience. I want you to stop for a moment and imagine yourself with the perfect brand new car of your dreams. How beautiful is that experience you are picturing now? Do you really want to cheapen it by driving in a car that isn’t yours?

I promised I would be straight with you, so I’m not going to hold my punches with you now, because I think it is important that you understand some truths about driving.  You may think it might be helpful to learn about driving if you have to drive someone else’s car. “Experience” doesn’t make you a better driver, it just increases your risk of getting a traffic ticket or worse.

If you get in someone else’s car, you don’t know who they have let drive it before… Can you afford to trust that the other drivers who have driven that car have had your best interest at heart…

Every time you drive a car that is not your very own, you are driving it with every other person that has driven that car.  Do you really want the first car you drive in to be one that has been driven around the block, or would you rather respect yourself enough to wait until you can drive your very own brand new car?

Now here is an important thing to understand if cars were supposed to have more than one driver they’d have been made with more that one steering wheel. That is the way it was meant to be.  You just can’t argue with that, it is just plain common sense.

Now I know driving sounds very exciting, we see people doing it in movies and T.V. all the time.  Hollywood glamorizes driving.  Their cavalier attitude towards it leaves many of your young impressionable minds with the idea that getting out and driving a car is something you should rush into, regardless of whether you are ready and can commit to a long-term relationship with a car you can afford.

I know the idea of waiting seems difficult for you now. Technically you could drive, and even though “legally” you are allowed to do so we feel it is best that you wait. Until then there are plenty of other ways you can get around like:

  • relying on others to drive you.
  • riding public transportation
  • riding a bike
  • or even walking

I promise that if you respect yourself enough to wait a brand new car is out there waiting for you to drive it. Together you will learn the rules of the road and it will be a beautiful and rewarding experience for both of you.

Obviously, this is not an effective way to teach driving so why should we teach Sex-Ed this way? If you want to read up on current state policies regarding Sex-Ed near you here are a few places to start:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx

http://mic.com/articles/98886/the-states-with-the-highest-teenage-birth-rates-have-one-thing-in-common

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/2015/08/fact-checking_john_oliver_on_sex_education_he_was_pretty_accurate.html

(Originally Written for The Good Men Project)

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