The road to safe driving: Why CHS should offer a Drivers Education course

Faye Wescott, Assistant Editor

Following the transition from middle to high school, freshman and sophomore students reach the eligibility to earn a driver’s license. While access to driving programs are open to everyone, not all families have the financial abilities to sustain the climbing expenses. Many also live in inconvenient locations in relation to where students can attend these programs. 

With these factors in mind, Carlsbad High should consider implementing driver’s education into the optional curriculum, ensuring that this opportunity would be equally provided for every student. With this, students would gain more experience on the road and benefit from relieved financial pressures. 

There are several factors needed to complete a driver’s course, including taking a permit course, a permit test, driving lessons, several registrations and more. While these necessary steps to obtaining a license ensure preparation for the road, each requires a fee. Unfortunately, some families earn lower income than others, and have more difficulty with sustaining these increasing tolls. According to the Zebra, about 36% of parents who make less than $50,000 a year said they were unable to afford the expenses that come with putting their child through driving school. 

While some families are affected by the financial aspects of driver’s courses, others struggle with convenient access to the locations of driving schools. SFGate reports that only 25% of high schools in California offer driver’s education, making it more difficult for some individuals to find easy entrance to courses. Not only do these families have to venture out of their way to reach the programs, but must also pay for the higher gas expenses due to longer travel. 

If a driver’s course were to be offered at CHS, it would come with many advantages for students. Families who are unable to give their children this opportunity would be relieved of the circumstance, and their student(s) would no longer be subject to figuring out enrollment for themselves. Students taking the course would also gain more experience on the road, as they would participate in the class multiple times a week throughout the school year. According to Money Geek, teens enrolled in a driver’s class are 76% less likely to be in an accident, ensuring superior safety for the students. 

Although a driver’s course at CHS would have its benefits, some may say it bears concerns. Many teens in high school have yet to mature, and may not handle the road responsibly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal crash rate of teens ages 16-19 is three times higher than the rate of adults ages 30-59. This recklessness can affect not only the lives of those inside the vehicle, but also put the lives of everyone on the road in danger.

Considering the lack of caution some teens may bring to the road, every student at CHS should be given equal opportunity to learn and grow into the most responsible version of themselves. While gaining an understanding of the importance of road safety can come more challenging for others,  it is important that everyone be given the chance to learn. Students from all different backgrounds deserve access to this course, one that is almost necessary to leading normal daily tasks.