UNITED STATES—Driving is indeed a privilege. That is a saying that I have heard time and time again, and it’s very true. Controlling a vehicle on the road can be treacherous if the person behind the wheel has no idea what they are doing. So it raises the big question, should the driving age be elevated to ensure younger drivers have the appropriate skills to get behind the wheel before they get on the road.

I recall when I was a teen first getting my driver’s license, the ins and outs of learning the importance of the rules of the road before getting onto the road. Learning the importance of road signs is one thing, but controlling a vehicle is a completely different beast if you ask me. Timing matters, speed matters, maneuvering a car on the road matters, these are all things inexperienced and sometimes experienced drivers fail to realize. I think speed is the big one. People fail to realize how important it is to stay within the speed limit in school zones, on main roads and freeways.

Like I cannot tell you have dangerous it is to even cross the street in the neighborhood I live in. So many people run a particular stop sign right by my home it baffles me. I mean if the cops were just camped out near this stop sign they would write so many tickets in a day they’d be able to reach their quote for like the entire year. People know it’s a stop sign, yet they dismiss all the time, not realizing that a collision could occur. Why? I’ve witnessed it firsthand time and time again of crashes because someone failed to adhere to the rules of the road.

Younger drivers are driven to speed as if the world is going to end if they don’t hurry. Speed kills people, speed kills and its worse on the main roads, but even deadlier on the freeways. In the recent month, I’ve heard so many tales about drunk drivers causing deadly accidents on the freeways. I mean seriously, if you’re going to be out and about drinking, the least you can do is hand over your keys to someone else. Why risk not only your life, but the lives of others because you don’t understand the hazards of driving drunk in a vehicle. Your perception is blurred, your reaction time is blurred and your ability to focus is greatly impacted.

Another concern I have about the road is those who indulge in hit-and-run accidents. I mean, you know when you’ve struck something with your vehicle, and to just strike someone with your car and to keep driving as if nothing happened is crazy. You may have just killed someone or seriously injured them and you flee the scene. Not acceptable, not acceptable at all. If you can take a life and not think twice you should NEVER be allowed to be on the road.

This all makes things worse when the weather becomes flat-out treacherous. For those who have never driven in the snow or freezing rain, speed has to be decreased even more. However, I always see people drive more erratically when the roads are at their worst, compared to when it’s sunny outside. If its snow, you extend the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, you have to give yourself more time to safely stop your vehicle. Freezing rain is another beast in its own, like ice has a mind of its own and one cannot control their vehicle when it spins out on ice. The best advice is to hold on tight to that steering wheel and ensuring it’s pointed in the opposite direction.

I’ve always been told when driving a vehicle you have to be aware of the road at all times, your concern has to be more with what possible danger situations could arise and how you can react with your vehicle before it’s too late. It’s better to be a defensive driver than aggressive driver. Now only if we could get the rest of the people on the road to understand that.