Why You Should Learn to Drive – The Benefits of Driving

Transport is a large part of our lives. Even if you live in a remote area, you still have to head out of the house for supplies once or twice a week. For people who study or work, commuting is most likely a daily affair. A driver’s license is a sought-after qualification that offers the freedom of driving. But, aside from getting someone from A to B, are there other benefits of learning to drive?

The Benefits of Driving

Driving grows your brain.

Managing multiple tasks during driving helps develop neuroplasticity. Basic driving involves coordinating your hands and feet to simultaneously steer and work the pedals. Add to that listening to music, watching other cars, following navigation instructions, or drinking coffee, and your brain is being trained to process large amounts of information at once.

As you learn new driving routes, visualize how various roads connect, and figure out the fastest route to take, you also improve your memory and your ability to interpret and retain visual information. A study of trainee taxi drivers found that learning the streets of London resulted in hippocampus development and higher cognitive functions including spatial memory.

Driving offers mobility and convenience.

The main reason why most people learn to drive is that it offers mobility. After a long day at work, instead of waiting for public transport in the cold and rain, you can simply hop into your car and be on the way home. Daily commutes aside, driving makes it more convenient for you to make quick trips like popping out to the store or taking your dog to the vet.

Your car also comes with more space. It can fit several people and a large amount of shopping. Instead of having to lug bulky grocery bags to the bus stop or take the train with kids in tow, you can load everyone and everything into the car. In addition, you have the freedom to make multiple stops and pick up the shopping, the kids, and dinner all in one trip.

Driving offers independence, privacy, and security.

There is a reason why obtaining a driver’s license is a rite of passage for many young adults. Driving fosters a sense of responsibility and independence from having to rely on busy parents or family members. Learning to maintain a vehicle and manage vehicle expenses is good practice for the responsibilities of adulthood.

When you take public transport, common riders can easily learn your daily schedules. In hire cars, drivers know where you live and can listen in on your conversations. For people who value their privacy, driving is a better option. Moreover, having a private car can also provide a stronger sense of security for those who have to travel at night or on isolated routes.

You could save money.

With the current gas prices, owning and maintaining a car may seem costly. But for many people who live in areas with limited public transport options, driving can be much more affordable than hiring private taxis. Furthermore, there are numerous ways where you can have a car without breaking the bank such as buying second-hand or sharing the family car.

You could get a job.

Once you have passed your driving test, you have your license for life. This license can come in handy when you are looking for employment. Many companies prefer to hire people who are licensed drivers in case they need to make an urgent delivery or meet a client in a hurry. Besides, you always have the option of becoming a ride-hail driver in your spare time.

How to Learn to Drive

Driver’s licenses are required by law for anyone operating a motor vehicle in the United States. Licenses are issued by the state in which you live and the processes and regulations vary from state to state. Typically, you can start your driver’s education at 14. Download or purchase the relevant driver’s handbook for your state from your local DMV.

You can generally apply for your learner’s permit between the age of 14 and 16. Most states, such as California, will require you to complete a state-approved driver’s education course or basic knowledge test before you can apply for a learner’s license. It is recommended that you find a reputable driving school and online driver’s ed resource to help you from this stage onwards.

With a learner’s license, you can take driving lessons and accumulate the minimum required number of supervised driving hours. Some states also have mandatory auxiliary programs such as the Impact Texas Drivers Program. When you have completed the requirements and reached the minimum age for your state, you can apply for your provisional driver’s license.

To receive your provisional driver’s license, you will need to pass a comprehensive written exam and a driving skills test. The provisional driver’s license comes with certain restrictions such as passenger numbers and driving hours. In some states, you can upgrade to a full license as young as 16 and 6 months while you have to be 18 in others. Once you have your full license, you are good to go!