On the Go!

Teens Learn How to Navigate the Road and the Responsibilities of Driving.
Junior Evangeline Ruiz in her car ready to begin her driving journey.
Junior Evangeline Ruiz in her car ready to begin her driving journey.
Leandra Alicea

Learning how to drive is a fundamental experience for teenagers all over the United States. With the minimum age to get a learner’s permit being fifteen in Florida, it is no surprise that so many high school students are starting to gain experience on the road. In a car-centric United States, learning how to drive at a young age can be helpful for the future. However, this newly acquired skill can have some downsides.  

Traffic in Florida can be overwhelming for new drivers. Studies show that Florida is the sixth worst state for drivers in the United States. Junior Evangeline Ruiz received her driver’s license in Autumn of 2023 and regularly commutes to school. “Drivers on the road are unpredictable. Obviously, you can’t predict what drivers will do… Some people driving have a lot of audacity,” said Ruiz.  

Young student drivers need to exercise caution in an increasingly car-centric United States—especially with aggressive or impaired drivers. Senior Monica Vargas is a student driver who currently has her learner’s permit. She enjoys driving both as a pastime and for the convenience of it. However, she has seen firsthand the dangers of driving. “In Florida, you have to be careful. These people are really reckless drivers,” said Vargas.  

Despite its downsides, many agree that driving is almost mandatory in the United States. However, the question of what age young people should start driving is still arguable. In New Jersey, for example, the minimum age at which one can get their license is seventeen.  

Convenience is a major motivation for students to learn how to drive; it opens up more opportunities than there would have been for students who are unable to drive. Mr. Olivero, a high school social studies teacher, agrees that driving can be beneficial for high school students. “Students are able to find a job and get a job, that way they can help their families sustain themselves. There are a lot of activities as well, during their high school years and many families can’t afford them. If students are able to drive, and able to work, they’re able to pay for [activities],” said Olivero.  

Driving serves not only as a means of transportation, but to some, it offers a form of stress relief and fun. Driving can even lead to a career in the motor sports industry. “I’m very into cars and I love driving. I’d love to become a racer as well,” Vargas stated.  

While learning how to drive can be fun and rewarding, it can also be daunting for new drivers. It is hard to grow accustomed to driving on crowded roads with other, more experienced drivers. “At first, it’s really hard to learn how to drive, but once you get used to it, it’s okay,” said Vargas 

Even before getting their license, minors are required to first get their learner’s permit. To receive a learner’s permit, they must first take a test, which can be taken online. While very helpful, studying for this test can be stressful. “My advice would be to study. There’s a test that they have to take online and it’s very accurate. There are things on there that they need to know for the future that they need to know for the test and to maintain safety while driving,” said Olivero. 


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Leandra Alicea
Leandra Alicea, Writer
Leandra Alicea is a senior and this year on staff for the Coyote Chronicle. She is interested in art and graphic design, with focus on painting. Her dream is to work in computer science, working with either social media or game programming. She has previous experiences in FCUS journalism through the yearbook program.

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