Leeway for the Freeway


Natalia Rodriguez

The Florida driver’s test is often criticized for being too easy.

Natalia Rodriguez

Miami has long been infamous for being home to what many people deem to be the worst drivers. However valid this claim may be, there is no doubt that one of the factors that contributes to the claim is the difficulty of the test drivers must take in order to get their license. The exam has been criticized for having relatively low standards for achieving a passing score, therefore allowing certain people to pass when they probably shouldn’t have. This is worrisome, especially among teen drivers who may be more at risk of getting into accidents if they are passed when they still lack skills that are necessary for safe driving habits.

As it is, teen drivers are already more likely to be involved in fatal crashes in comparison to drivers who are 20 or older. In 2011 alone, around 12% of all crashes in Florida were related to teen driving. Nowadays, the Florida driving test requires drivers to be proficient in performing basic skills, such as a three-point turn, shifting gears, parking, and reversing. However, they do not require drivers to parallel park for the exam, a task that is essential when driving outside in the “real world.” This is troubling to many people because parallel parking spots are located all over the city, mainly in heavily crowded areas. If teen drivers cannot successfully parallel park, they can become threats to the cars on both ends of the parking space, and to other drivers in the oncoming traffic lane. Even teenagers who have taken the test claim that the actual exam is very easy to pass.

While many argue that the drivers test is too simple, others claim that the difficulty of the exam has little significance over whether or not teens are involved in more accidents. They claim that other factors, such as restricting the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle when a teen is driving and raising the curfew, are more effective in preventing teen driving accidents. Although that may help, it is imperative that there is a driving test that will ensure that drivers on the road are capable executing all maneuvers that will be used on the road.

“I think the driving test should reflect what Florida considers to be the safety guidelines necessary for someone to be on the road, and it’s a driving test that doesn’t include things that are pretty basic such as parallel parking, and I don’t think that’s necessarily safe,” sophomore Angie Lopez said.

In order to promote public safety, Florida should consider revising the current drivers test and increasing the difficulty just enough so things don’t take three-point turn for the worst.