Being a granny driver isn’t so bad, after all

Being a granny driver isn’t so bad, after all

Christina Hemphill, Opinion Editor

One of the earliest memories (and one of the only memories, at that) I have is when my family went to an amusement park and as we were pulling out of the park turning right, we got hit. This accident has stuck in my head for many years, and every so often little snippets of new things I remember about it pop up. Like how I was so little that I could barely see above the window, how scared my sister was as soon as it happened and even my mom’s bright blonde hair in the front passenger seat.

This instinct is what formed my “granny” habit of driving. I’m not afraid to admit it, I drive like a total 65-year-old woman with both hands on 10 and two and never daring to go five miles over the speed limit. Every time someone gets in my car, I wait to put it in drive until they have their seat belt on. It may seem crazy, but I know I don’t want to be paying attention to them when I start driving. I try to do the same with the radio and air conditioning, as well.

I’m very nervous when it comes to riding with others. When I could not drive yet, I would have to rely on my sister, my parents or friends to drive me everywhere. I’ve always felt comfortable riding in the car with my parents, even if they do go a little too fast or have a little road rage. But, sometimes driving with other friends was a huge stress.

I used to have a friend who I rode with quite often because we were in the same activities. She would drive way over the speed limit while texting on her phone and tailgating the person in front of her until they moved out of her way. Even through snow, she would swerve through the icy neighborhood streets and not seem to have a care for her safety or mine.

Even now, I hate driving and try to avoid it at all costs. If there is a way to carpool without inconveniencing someone else, I ask. I jump at my parents to ask “Can’t you just drop me off?” Normally, this does not work out in my favor but I always try anyway.

I’m the black sheep in my family of racey drivers, but I’m okay with this. Driving safe is something very important to me, and if I get called an old lady for it, I’ll gladly take it with pride. With a crazy statistic of seven teens aged from 16 to 19 dying each day because of driving accidents, according to the CDC, it’s absolutely ridiculous not to take pride in being a safe driver.