In 1992 Madness came cruising down the highway of MTV singing “I’ve been driving in my car, I’m satisfied I’ve got this far.” Their catchy song became famous and still to this day it enjoys regular airtime on live radio. Personally – as a driver – whenever I hear Driving In My Car it can make me feel like singing along, particularly so while I’m driving in my car. However, I recently started asking myself; “what if I wasn’t driving in my car? What if I didn’t have a car? Would that song still feel catchy? Would my life be any different?” Then I started to look at the bipedal laggards around me and I realized how brilliant it is to have a car and I realized that life without wheels is incomparable to life in the driver’s seat.
Acquiring your first car and driver’s license is a life-changing experience. It unchains you from a life of truly restricted mobility and after you find yourself driving for a couple of years the thought of living without a car becomes painfully inconceivable. Adapting to pedestrian mode once in a blue moon when your motor goes for servicing or repairs is like falling ill and losing your smartphone at the same time. Such an experience is a reminder that in life we only seem to appreciate a healthy purr after it has been numbed into respite.
The dramatic enhancements imposed by upgrading from two legs to four wheels are innumerable. Freedom, flexibility, independence, adventure and so many other wonderful joys are contained within the magic of a car key. There is also an empowerment in driving; it can make you feel powerful to know that you are in control of such a high-powered lump of lightening speed steel. With that said there is also a very important sense of responsibility in operating a car. As a driver you have a responsibility to be safe and careful, you have a responsibility to obey the rules of the road and sustain a degree of vigilance. Feeling competent enough to exercise vigilance and responsibility in the driver’s seat of a car is a fulfilling ingredient in the life of any proud self-sufficient adult. In other words, driving a car is good for your confidence and self-esteem.
Being able to hop into your car and drive anywhere is so much more expansive than being confined to a bus pass. There is an exploratory benefit to having the luxury of a car; it allows you to venture beyond the boundaries of your local town, neighborhood, city etc. From this perspective it could also be said that driving can grant one access to a broader horizon of discovery. It can make inaccessible locations become accessible. Even job opportunities increase with the possession of a driver’s license. Lots of decent jobs ask their potential candidates if they have access to a car because plenty of jobs require long-distance travel that cannot be attained through other modes of transport. Then there’s the comfort of staying dry and warm through inclement weather conditions. As a car owner you’ll no longer have to be a poor bugger that wades through a snowstorm on a cold winter’s morning. You’ll no longer have to brave the conditions of frostbitten fingers, icicle snots, chattering teeth and wet feet. Rather, you’ll enjoy the luxuries of an incubator packing 25 degrees of heat, music, chat shows, air fresheners and an assortment of other add-ons that don’t come with a pair of wellies.
So, after weighing up some of the disparities between drivers and non-drivers it becomes glaringly obvious that the non-drivers are totally missing out. I could never really understand why anyone above the age of 30 would not want the ability to drive. As an individual that fancied nothing more than my first automobile at 17 I find it hard to comprehend the mentality of those that never expressed one iota of interest in learning how to drive. Being deprived of the ability to drive means that you’re going to spend your life being dependent on other people who can drive. As an individual who strove for independence in life I felt a lot of dead weight in my former acquaintances who always implored me for a lift in my car. The experience of non-driver people bumming lifts off you all the time can grow tiresome after several years and this combined with all the other contrasts between drivers and non-drivers leads me to conclude by taking note of the fact that in life there are winners and there are losers, and so, if by the age of 30 you don’t know how to drive a car then it is likely (but not guaranteed) that you are a loser, you are missing out, and you should probably sort it out and LEARN HOW TO DRIVE!