One of the reasons why driving is so dangerous in Afghanistan is because so many of the drivers are underage and driving without a license. They put the lives of people in great danger.

My cousin is sixteen and he loves to drive, but he doesn’t have a license. Once while driving me home from the university last year on Darul Aman Road in Kabul he wanted to take a left turn, but he forgot to give the other vehicles a turn signal. So when he turned left, a car suddenly hit us from behind and we were both injured. Thanks to God we suffered only minor injuries but we could have lost our lives.

My cousin was very upset about the accident. Several times I had told him please stop the car, but I think he had false confidence. When my parents heard about it, they refused to let him drive me home from university.

I think underage drivers are a danger because they don’t have the experience or mental strength to take on tough situations. Several months ago, a friend of mine who had recently started driving was on the road in Kabul when a vehicle going very fast suddenly came towards his car. He panicked and to save his car from being hit, he swerved sharply and ran into a tree. He could have slowed down and let the other car go past, but he didn’t think of that. His car was badly damaged and he was seriously injured.

Underage drivers don’t have the necessary patience. They like to drive fast because they enjoy driving on high speed. Another relative of mine who was seventeen was driving very fast through the streets near a boy’s school where children were playing. Suddenly a child came in front of his vehicle and was hit. The child was so seriously injured that it took months to recover and my relatives had to pay for his hospital charges. The driver was sentenced to prison for two months.

I would love to drive myself, but not in Afghanistan. Driving shows women are powerful and it’s a good skill to have.  If I had a license I wouldn’t have to rely on my brothers and cousins to drive me. But police try and interrupt women drivers in Afghanistan. I don’t plan on getting a license.

You have to be eighteen to get a license and Kabul has driving schools, but they are not good. The traffic police sometimes do their job, but if the drivers are rich, they just ask for bribes.

I don’t think anyone should be driving without a driving license. Stopping underage driving would reduce the traffic accidents. Driving a car requires a person to be very careful and wise. You need a cool and calm mind and sharp eyesight and to be aware of all the rules.

By Mona

Photo: Traffic moves past the Abdul Rahman Khan Great Mosque, on November 18, 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)