Letter: Driving doesn’t require someone to be book smart

By on February 10, 2011

I’ve heard talk again about how teenagers should be required to earn a “C” average in order to get their driver’s license, and I disagree with this. I’m a good student with a strong grade-point average, and I know that driving doesn’t require someone to be book smart.

The way a student performs in school also does not have anything to do with how well he or she can drive. Driving is something that, once you learn how to do it, you continue to practice it for the rest of your life. Many other things learned in school don’t stay with you as long.

Driving is something that becomes easier as you do it, and you develop habits that make it easier and easier as you do it. But learning isn’t like that. Some people have a harder time learning and, if they have a job, it just makes it that much harder for them to do things like work, because they can’t get anywhere in addition to not being able to learn easily.

Also, what about those people in the past who may have dropped out of high school or did not obtain a “C” average? Do they get their driving privileges taken away too? This would only be fair—but it would be a huge disaster, since lots of people would get their license taken away.

I do not think it is a good idea to require someone to obtain a “C” average to be eligible for a driver’s license.

Nick Stollard
Kaneland High School


  1. RM

    February 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Driving is a privilege, not a right. Poor study habits and the inability to do well in school correlate directly with level of maturity and the ability to understand the seriousness of what it means to be a licensed driver. You have to be smart enough to understand the rules of the road. What you describe are good criteria for riding a bike not driving a car. Some years of experience and wisdom that only comes with age will prove this to you in a few years.

  2. hellostuman

    February 15, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Well said Nick and good points given! I say we leave it up to the driving instructors and DMV to keep those who shouldn’t be behind the wheel off the street. I assume that’s what they get paid for? I don’t think we need Math/PE/Home Ec teachers (or know-it-all web posters) making that decision.

    PM, could you please let us all know what text/reference book you pulled your “poor study habits and the inability to do well in school correlate directly with level of maturity and the ability to understand the seriousness of what it means to be a licensed driver” “fact” from?

  3. RM

    February 15, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    hellostuman – Who do you think teaches driver’s ed at school? Are you saying that Math/PE/Home Ec teachers that may also be driving instructors aren’t capable of “making that decision?”

    I’d be happy to cite some references. “Common Sense” – unfortunately it’s not a widely read title. “40 Years of Driving Experience – Rules Too Many People Never Seemed to Have Learned” “Lessons Learned in 55 Years of Living Smart”

    Nick states that “driving doesn’t require someone to be book smart.” Perhaps it doesn’t. Maybe that’s why we have so many bad drivers on the road blowing stop signs, stop lights, texting and drinking while driving.

  4. RM

    February 15, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Maybe we should do what the really, really smart folks do. Forget even getting a license or insurance or proper registration.

  5. hellostuman

    February 17, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    You’re telling a Freshman in high school not to get a license, insurance or proper registration? WOW! I don’t agree with that at all! (I believe you should retract that statement.)

    Of course some school teachers also teach drivers ed. The point that I was making was let’s have them continue to do what they are paid for and have them (and the DMV) give out the license. IF you don’t teach drivers ed then those are the teachers that I was talking about, who, in my opinion, shouldn’t be deciding who can drive and who can’t. That’s like having someone with no common sense trying to teach the rest of us about common sense.


    “A not book smart person who is a much better driver than my very, very book smart wife”.