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Riding in the passenger’s seat elicits self-reflection

%22Now%2C+when+I%27m+a+passenger%2C+I+have+a+lack+of+trust+for+all+drivers.+This+is+because+I%27m+a+driver+and+know+that+other+people+have+the+same+habits+as+me+and+because+there+are+also+drivers+like+my+parents%2C+which+tends+to+worry+me+more%2C%22+Jake+Robinson%2C+a+junior%2C+said.

"Now, when I'm a passenger, I have a lack of trust for all drivers. This is because I'm a driver and know that other people have the same habits as me and because there are also drivers like my parents, which tends to worry me more," Jake Robinson, a junior, said.

Kathryn Stratz

Kathryn Stratz

"Now, when I'm a passenger, I have a lack of trust for all drivers. This is because I'm a driver and know that other people have the same habits as me and because there are also drivers like my parents, which tends to worry me more," Jake Robinson, a junior, said.

Kathryn Stratz, Staff Writer

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I can’t drive with my mom anymore. And I don’t mean that I can’t stand her critiques like driving too fast even though I’m five under the speed limit, I mean I can’t be in the passenger seat when she drives.

How many times has she narrowly averted trading paint with the car next to us, or slowly drifted into the adjacent lane with no turn signal?

Many.

I’ve only come to this conclusion recently, as I’ve just gotten my license. When I was younger, I was oblivious to her aggressive driving habits; I didn’t know any better.

Well, things have changed. I have a whole new perspective, and with it, I hold onto my seat for dear life.

I’m not the only teen who feels this way.

Jake Robinson, a junior, shares this concern.

“Now, when I’m a passenger, I have a lack of trust for all drivers. This is because I’m a driver and know that other people have the same habits as me and because there are also drivers like my parents, which tends to worry me more,” Robinson said.

I’m a driver and know that other people have the same habits as me and because there are also drivers like my parents, which tends to worry me more.”

— Jake Robinson

With this new perspective, I can’t help but tell my mom — while gripping onto my seat — to slow down and stay in her lane.

Even though no parent will accept their 16-year-old child’s driving advice, critiquing from the passenger seat gives one a sense of control.

According to Psychology Today, psychologist Ryan Howes said, “While the criticisms [passengers] issue can intimidate those on the receiving end, unwanted authorities are often acting out of their own fear of the unknown.”

Giving this unsolicited advice to parents comforts teen passengers like me.

This dynamic between parents and teen drivers isn’t surprising. Another component is how teens learn driving habits from their parents.

According to CNN, “Teens who engage in distracted and dangerous driving most likely learned their bad driving skills from their parents.”

Jonathan Deridal, a junior, doesn’t let his parents rub off on him.

“I don’t think I’ve developed the driving habits of my parents […] I’m confident in my driving abilities,” Deridal said.

While I, too, think I’m a competent driver, my mom’s driving has led me to re-evaluate my own driving skills. Am I too aggressive? Should I slow down? After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Riding in the passenger’s seat elicits self-reflection