（Contributed by Ben）
In the UK, most adults can drive. It’s common for people to take lessons at the age of 17 or 18. A lot of people learn in their teens or early twenties, but only get a car, and start to drive, a few years later.
I can’t drive. I took a few lessons, but I wasn’t very good at it, and I really didn’t want to drive. Cars are big, dangerous machines, and it always seems strange and frightening that we allow people to operate them. I worried that I was too easily distracted.
I used to assume that everybody had to drive. It thought it was a necessity – but I was wrong! I was inspired by my old science teacher, Mr Jones – he chose not to drive. He and his wife were fitness-enthusiasts. They preferred to walk and run. Growing up, I’ve met a few more people who choose not to get driving licenses (or who get the licence to use as a form of ID, but never use it to drive). Their examples are an inspiration to me. It was a relief, to realise that driving was a choice, not an obligation.
Thankfully, the UK has good public-transport. It’s not great, and it’s not very beautiful, and it’s not always on time, but it goes wherever you need to go. If I lived in America, I would probably need to drive – the United States are so big, and the cities are so wide, and their trains and buses don’t cover the whole of the country (or so I have heard). Fortunately, I live in Britain, so I don’t need to drive.
There are advantages and disadvantages, of course – pros and cons. Drivers can take any route they want, whenever they want, and they never need to wait at a bus-stop, but they also have to buy the car, pay tax, insurance, maintenance costs and petrol money, and they have to stay awake and alert at all times. I’m far happier as a passenger.