Despite remote work having become more prevalent than ever before, the amount of mileage driven on the road continues to increase. In the US alone, this number came up to 3.23 trillion miles (5.19 trillion km) in 2021, according to Reuters. This is an approximate 11 percent rise from the number logged in the previous year. Our reliance on road travel is inescapable, whether it be to bring physical goods to clients or to go on road trips with friends, and whatever else in between. Anyone who denies themselves the ability to drive is at a clear disadvantage, as there are only upsides to learning this skill. Here are five of the best ones.
Self-Reliance in Transportation
This is the first thing most people think about when picturing how their life would be if they knew how to drive. No longer would you depend so much on public transport or making friends or family drive you. Your transportation will be entirely in your hands.
The benefits of being able to drive are simple, but incredibly impactful. For one thing, you can make impromptu stops and detours whenever you want, thus making shopping trips and the like much more convenient. For another, you can travel overland at any time without having to buy bus tickets. You’ll soon find out that being able to get going whenever you please is immensely convenient, especially if public transport is unreliable in your area.
It’s Great For Your Career Prospects
Most businesses are adopting more and more agile practices these days. To the average employee, that means that employers are starting to prefer people with broader skill sets. That includes being able to drive. After all, if a business makes use of a company vehicle in any capacity, it helps that everyone in the office is capable of driving it when the need arises.
But regardless of whether your job frequently transports employees to and from the workplace, it’s still advantageous for your career prospects to have a driver’s license. Employers like to know that you have readily available transportation that can take you to work even in times when public transport is unreliable. Plus, a driver’s license just makes you look like more of a put-together person in general.
It Makes You More Knowledgeable
Once you pass your driving exam and enter the open road as a licensed driver, you’ll become much more knowledgeable when it comes to vehicles and traffic. Being in the know when it comes to transport affairs is essentially a crucial life skill these days, and there’s no better way to get good at it than to actually get immersed at the ground level.
Becoming actively involved as a driver is how you find out things such as the costs of towing a car, which varies according to your area and vehicle, or the best practices in defensive driving. In a vehicle-heavy world, it’s much better to be keenly attuned to how they function in our society than to remain ignorant about them. When even people who have been driving for a big chunk of their lives end up being ignorant of many aspects of transportation, it helps to give yourself every advantage possible to stay ahead of the curve.
It Builds Confidence
Figuring out theory and mastering the practical aspect of driving is a great boost to your confidence. Knowing that you’re independent when it comes to transportation works wonders for self-confidence too. All that self-confidence will give you a lot of social capital as well. After all, a large proportion of people can drive, and harsh as it may be to say, people who have control over their own transportation just have more social stock than those who don’t, at least in that aspect. Not to mention, you’re much more motivated to get out and socialize if you’ve got your own ride.
Less Time Spent on the Road
Assuming traffic is reasonable where you live, and you don’t have access to high-speed rail, traveling by car is the fastest way to get around. Taking the bus takes at least twice as much time. Unless you like to read or play games on the commute, that’s just time you’re not getting back. If you take public transport to work, the time you spend in traffic could’ve been spent getting an extra hour of sleep or evening out your work-life balance.
Driving your own vehicle has its own sets of responsibilities and disadvantages, but it’s better to know how to drive than not. Even if you plan on relying mostly on public transport for environmental reasons or otherwise, you’d still be better off having a driver’s license just in case. Nothing beats being confident in the knowledge that if all else fails, you can still depend upon yourself to drive to wherever you need to be.