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More teenagers are hitting the brakes when it comes to getting their drivers license

Posted: 5:38 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-11 19:21:05-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The freedom and independence of driving doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to for many of today’s teenagers.

Faith Pennington, a junior at Johnson County Community College is 21 years-old.

She didn’t get her permit and then drivers license until well after her 17th birthday.

Many of her peers were already driving.

“All my friends were getting their licenses; They’re like, 'When are you going to do it?' I’m like, 'Not today,'" said Pennington.  

“I was in a car crash when I was little; almost a head-on collision that totaled the car. I was in the backseat my dad was driving. This truck just went over the line and smacked right into us,” she explained.

Zebra researchers discovered that 33.3 percent of teen boys think driving is scary and 46.3 percent of teen girls agree.

Another reason many teens are scared of driving is because of their parent’s fears.

Zebra researchers revealed that 58 percent of parents surveyed said they are afraid of their teens driving. And there is good reason for that fear: Zebra revealed that teens are 3 times more likely to be in a deadly crash than drivers age 20 and older.

Driver's education instructors at Johnson County Community College address those fears with education.

Josh Smith is program director for the JCCC Driver's Ed program. He explained instructors start with classroom work and slowly progress to driving.  

“They’re working and building their confidence up along each lesson from starting in the parking lot to residential to city driving to highway driving,” Smith added.  

At age 16, Taylor Burns, a junior at Shawnee Mission South, finally got her driver's permit this year.  

“At the beginning, I was determined I wanted to drive and then I took the test once and I missed eight (questions) and then for the next year I just had no interest. I don’t know why,” Taylor said.

She admits she is afraid of driving because of friends and family who were hurt in crashes.  But she calls it a healthy fear.  

“I’ll probably be more aware of my surroundings and I’m not going to be on my phone when I’m driving;  no super-loud music,” Taylor said.