Should the States Raise the Legal Driving Age to 18? Essay

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Introduction

In a 2019 overview of the fatality rates in the United States, while teenagers drove less compared to all but the oldest people, the number of deaths and crashes associated with them were disproportionately high. By comparison, between 16 and 19 years, the number of fatal crash rates was three times more than crash rates among drivers over twenty years (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, n.p.).

Furthermore, the risks of such fatal crashes and deaths were reportedly highest in teenagers aged between 16 and 17 years. With the understanding established, Fritscher argues that, among various reasons, teens should be allowed to drive because it plays a fundamental role in teenage development. The purpose of the essay is to compare, therefore, and contrast the rhetorical elements associated with whether the states should raise the legal driving age to 18. While teenage development is vital in growing up, it does not compare to the risks associated with teenage driving. Hence, the states should raise the legal driving age to 18.

Fritscher on Reasons why teens should drive shows that despite research showing the risks that come with teenage driving, the majority of the people in the U.S. consider teen going an essential element of life. By 16, getting a driver’s license is regarded as a rite of passage in the majority of the states in the U.S. (Fritscher, n.p.). In the understanding by Erik Erikson, developmental theorist, this rite of passage contributes to discovering the identity and plays a fundamental role in teenage development. Teenagers require space to break away from their parents, develop personal values and morals, and spend time with their peers (Fritscher, n.p.). While some metropolitan regions in the U.S. have excellent public transport systems, most similar areas do not and thus, require teenagers to drive in search of their independence.

While teenage development is a significant aspect of growing up, the search for independence, personal values, and morals might come at a cost, both in the lives of teenagers and other road users as well. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Fatality Facts 2019: Teenagers aims to show that the independence sought after by teenagers comes at a high cost. In a study to analyze the licensing systems in the U.S. between 1990 and 2019, the graduated licensing for National studies found that lower fatal crashes were reported when every state adopted graduated techniques. In the presence of solid laws, there were associated lower fatal crashes and substantially lower insurance claim rates among teenagers (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, n.p.).

With substantial restrictions on teen passengers and nighttime driving, alongside raising the licensing age for teen drivers, the insurance firms encountered a decline in insurance collision claims resulting in reduced fatal crash rates.

From the findings of the study by the fatality analysis reporting system (FARS) of the U.S. transportation department, reports posted in March 2021 showed that in 2019, there were over 2,370 teenagers involved in automobile crashes. Compared to the same statement made in 1975, the figures associated with 2019 were over 70 percent more than in 1975 and 5 percent more than the previous year (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, n.p.). By breaking down the number of deaths, in terms of gender, the Institute discovered that two-thirds of the teenagers killed were male, and the number of male deaths since 1975 has been on the rise. Compared to their female counterparts, the rate of male teenage drivers who were reported dead rose by 76 percent, unlike 64 percent of female adolescent drivers.

Rouse, on the Pros and cons of driving at the age of 16 , seeks to show that while teenage driving is essential, it might be inappropriate to allow teenagers to drive. It might be problematic for teenagers to go because it is the main contributor to the increase in fatal crashes among teen drivers. An increase in fatal crashes has been highly linked to the lack of experience by these young drivers (Rouse, n.p.).

Since these young drivers have only been driving for a shorter timeframe, they encounter dangerous or challenging situations where they lack experience in understanding how to respond safely. In a 2008 article by the New York Daily, the article reported that because of the lack of experience, the leading cause attributed to teenage deaths was car crashes (Rouse, n.p.). Minimizing the possibilities that come with adolescent driving might require all states to raise the legal driving age to 18 years.

While teenage driving, like a rite of passage in most Americans, might seem appealing, considering the risks and rates of fatal crashes is an equally attractive point to emphasize in the lives of Americans. The absence of experience from teen maturity levels, while it might be argued to increase responsibility, threatens the lives of many others due to the possibility of encountering dangerous and challenging situations. A high time has come when all states should legalize the driving age to 18 years, primarily as a way of combating the increased number of fatal crashes attributed to teenage driving.

Fritscher, Lisa. Howtoadult. 2017. Web.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2020. Arlington, VA.

Rouse, Britany. Howtoadult. 2017. Web.

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The Inconvenience for Teenagers

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Should the Driving Age Be Raised to 18 Argumentative Essay: Analyzing the Impact of Age on Driving Maturity!

Should the Driving Age Be Raised to 18 Argumentative Essay: Analyzing the Impact of Age on Driving Maturity!

- The ⁢Impact of Age on Driving Maturity

– The Impact of Age on Driving⁣ Maturity

– reasons ‍for raising the driving age to 18, – ‍contradictory arguments against raising the driving age, contradictory arguments against raising​ the driving age, – ​analyzing statistics on teenage driving ⁤accidents, – psychological development and decision-making abilities in adolescents, – potential solutions to address ⁢youthful inexperience on the road, – the⁤ role of parental involvement in teenage driving, – comparing international driving age regulations, – recommendations for implementing a higher driving age, – balancing‍ safety concerns​ with individual rights and responsibilities, closing⁣ remarks.

Driving maturity is a crucial factor to consider when ⁣discussing the appropriate age for obtaining a driver’s license. Research has‌ shown ‍that age ⁢can significantly impact a driver’s ability to make safe and responsible decisions on the road.

One ⁢argument in favor ⁣of raising the driving age to 18 is that older individuals tend to‌ have​ more developed cognitive abilities, which ⁤are essential for handling⁣ the complexities of driving. Studies have indicated that the ⁣prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and⁤ impulse control,‍ continues to⁢ develop‌ until the mid-20s. By waiting until individuals are 18, we may reduce the risk of inexperienced drivers making ⁣rash decisions behind the wheel.

Furthermore, with age often comes increased maturity and responsibility. ‍Teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors⁢ while driving, such as speeding or texting, which can lead to ⁤accidents. By⁢ raising the driving age, we may be able to reduce the number ⁢of accidents caused by reckless driving behaviors.

- ‍Reasons for Raising the Driving Age to 18

One ⁢of the​ primary arguments‍ for raising the⁣ driving age to 18 is the issue of‌ maturity. Many believe that 16 and 17-year-olds may not possess the necessary level of maturity to handle the​ responsibilities that come with driving. By raising the driving age to⁤ 18, it is thought that young adults would have had more time to develop their‍ decision-making skills and emotional maturity, making them safer drivers.

Additionally, statistics show that​ young drivers ⁢are at a higher risk of being involved in car accidents. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drivers aged 16-19 are three times more ‍likely to be in a fatal crash compared to drivers aged‍ 20 and older. By raising the driving age to 18, it is believed that this could help reduce the ⁢number of accidents involving young drivers, ultimately leading to safer roads for ‌everyone.

Furthermore, raising⁢ the driving age to 18 could also have a positive⁤ impact ‍on academic ​performance. Studies have shown ⁤that teens who have access to a car are more likely⁣ to⁣ skip school, as‍ well as engage in risky behaviors⁤ such as drinking and driving. By delaying the age at which teens can obtain a driver’s license, it is‍ thought that this could help promote ⁣better academic success and reduce the likelihood of ⁢engaging in dangerous behaviors.

Overall, while ⁤there are arguments on‍ both sides of the debate, raising the driving age to 18 could potentially have a number of benefits,⁤ including promoting ⁢safer roads, reducing accidents involving young drivers, and improving academic ​performance.

- Contradictory Arguments Against​ Raising ‌the Driving Age

While many argue that raising the⁤ driving age ‌to⁤ 18 ‍will result in safer roads and decreased accidents,⁣ there are some contradictory arguments⁢ that need ‌to be taken into consideration.

  • Developmental Maturity: Some individuals argue that not​ all 18-year-olds are more mature than ‌16-year-olds. Developmental maturity varies from‌ person to person, and age alone should not be the determining factor ⁣in ​deciding driving privileges.
  • Impact on‌ Teen Employment: Raising ‌the driving age may limit job opportunities⁢ for teenagers who⁢ rely on their ability⁣ to drive ‍to work. This could hinder ⁣their financial independence and overall development.
  • Accessibility to Education: ⁢ In rural areas or places⁢ with limited public transportation, raising the driving age could ‌hinder students’⁤ ability to access educational⁣ opportunities that require commuting‌ long distances.

- Analyzing Statistics on Teenage Driving Accidents

Driving accidents among teenagers are a prevalent issue that demands attention and analysis. By ⁢examining the statistics on teenage driving accidents, we can gain valuable ​insights into the impact of age on ⁤driving maturity. These statistics provide crucial information that can inform​ policy decisions and​ help improve‍ road safety for all.

According to recent studies, teenagers are more likely to be involved in car⁣ accidents compared to older, more experienced drivers. Factors such as inexperience, distraction, and risk-taking behavior contribute to this trend. Analyzing these statistics allows‌ us to understand⁣ the root causes of teenage driving accidents and develop targeted interventions to address them effectively.

- Psychological Development and Decision-Making Abilities in Adolescents

When discussing the question of whether the driving age ‍should ‍be raised to 18, it‌ is important⁣ to consider the psychological development ‍and decision-making abilities of adolescents. Research‍ has shown that the‌ frontal lobe of⁣ the brain,​ responsible for⁣ decision-making and impulse control, continues to develop well into a person’s early ⁣20s. This⁤ means that ‍adolescents may not‍ have fully developed the cognitive ⁣abilities needed​ to make quick and ⁢responsible decisions while ⁣driving.

Furthermore, statistics show that younger drivers, particularly those under the age‍ of 18, are more likely to be involved in car ‍accidents compared to older, more experienced drivers. This could be attributed​ to a lack of driving maturity and experience, which are⁣ crucial factors in ensuring road ‍safety.

By raising the driving age to 18, we​ can potentially reduce the number of car accidents ​involving young drivers and improve overall road⁣ safety. This extra ⁣time allows adolescents to further develop their cognitive abilities and‍ decision-making⁣ skills, making⁢ them more responsible and safer drivers in the long run.

Overall, while there may be differing opinions on whether the driving age should be raised to 18, ​it is important to consider the impact of age on driving maturity and safety. ‌By prioritizing the psychological development and decision-making abilities of⁤ adolescents, we can work ⁤towards creating a safer driving environment for everyone on the⁣ road.

- Potential Solutions to Address Youthful Inexperience on the Road

One potential solution to address youthful inexperience on the road is to implement stricter driver education programs for⁣ teenagers. By increasing the requirements⁤ for obtaining a‍ driver’s license, such as more supervised driving hours and specialized training on critical ‌driving skills, young drivers ‌can be better prepared to handle challenging situations on the‌ road.

Another solution could be to utilize advanced driving simulators​ to⁢ provide teenagers with realistic driving‌ experiences in ⁣a ‍controlled ‍environment. These⁣ simulators can‌ help young drivers develop their decision-making skills,⁢ practice defensive driving techniques, and learn how to react to various‍ road hazards without putting themselves or others at risk.

Additionally, raising the driving age to‍ 18 could potentially decrease the number of ⁤accidents involving teenage drivers. Research has shown that brain development ⁣continues into​ early ‌adulthood, with areas responsible ‌for impulse control and decision-making still maturing. By waiting until the age of 18 to allow individuals to⁢ drive independently, there may‌ be a reduced risk of ‌reckless behavior on the⁢ road.

- The Role of Parental Involvement in Teenage ⁣Driving

Parental ‍involvement plays a crucial role in shaping teenage drivers’ habits and behaviors ‌behind the wheel. ‌By actively participating⁢ in their child’s​ driving education and practice, parents can ‌instill important safety practices and promote responsible ⁢driving behaviors. This involvement‌ can ⁣include supervising practice sessions, setting clear expectations, and providing constructive feedback .

Furthermore, parents can also serve as positive role models for their teenage drivers by demonstrating safe driving practices themselves. Modeling behaviors such as wearing⁢ seatbelts, obeying traffic laws, and avoiding distractions can help reinforce the importance of responsible driving.

Additionally, parents ⁤can utilize‍ tools such as driving agreements ⁤or contracts⁢ to outline rules and expectations for ‌their teenage drivers. By establishing clear guidelines and consequences ​for breaking them, parents can help their teens understand the importance of safe driving practices​ and⁤ the potential risks associated with irresponsible behavior⁢ on the road.

-⁣ Comparing International Driving Age Regulations

In many‌ countries around ​the⁤ world, the minimum driving age ‍is a topic of ongoing debate. Supporters‍ of​ raising the⁣ driving age to 18‍ argue that it would lead to a decrease in traffic accidents involving young drivers. They believe that at 18, individuals are⁤ more mature⁣ and responsible, making them ⁣better equipped to handle the responsibilities of driving. ‍On the other hand, opponents‍ of raising the driving age argue that age does​ not necessarily equate to driving maturity. They believe that ⁢additional training and supervision, ‌rather than age restrictions, are key in ensuring safe road practices.

One way ‍to gain insight​ into the impact of age on driving maturity is by comparing international driving age regulations. By examining the driving age requirements in different countries, we can see how varying approaches⁣ affect⁢ road safety. For example, in the United ⁤States, most states allow individuals to obtain a learner’s permit at 16 ⁣and a full⁣ driver’s⁢ license at 18. In contrast, countries ‌like Germany and the United Kingdom have a minimum driving age of 17, with additional restrictions for newly ‍licensed drivers under ⁢a ‌certain age.

- Recommendations for Implementing a Higher Driving Age

One key recommendation for implementing a⁣ higher driving age is to ​provide comprehensive ⁣education‌ and training programs for young ​drivers. By offering courses that ​focus on⁢ defensive driving⁣ techniques, understanding road signs, ⁣and practicing ⁣safe driving behaviors, we can better prepare young individuals to handle the responsibility of being behind the ​wheel.

Another crucial step is to enforce stricter penalties ⁤for ⁢reckless driving ⁣behaviors among young⁣ drivers. By holding them accountable for their actions on the⁣ road, we can deter risky behaviors and encourage safer ⁢driving practices. This may include fines, ⁤license ‍suspensions, ​or mandatory driver improvement courses.

Furthermore, encouraging the use of technology such as driver monitoring systems and in-car cameras can help track and analyze the driving behaviors of young drivers. By providing real-time feedback and data on their driving habits,⁤ we‌ can​ identify areas⁢ for ‌improvement and promote safer‌ driving practices.

Lastly, promoting alternative​ modes of ⁢transportation such as⁢ public transit, ⁢biking, or carpooling can help reduce the reliance on individual‌ driving. By encouraging a‍ shift ​towards ⁣more sustainable transportation options , we can alleviate traffic ‍congestion, reduce carbon emissions, and create a safer environment for all road users.

- Balancing Safety Concerns with Individual Rights and Responsibilities

One of the⁤ most debated topics in the realm of ‍driving regulations is whether the driving age should be raised to 18 years old. Proponents of ⁤raising ​the driving age argue that it would lead to ⁤a decrease in accidents among young drivers, as they believe that older individuals are more mature and responsible on the ‌road. On the other hand, opponents of this idea argue⁤ that driving is a rite of passage for teenagers and should not be delayed.

When‍ analyzing the impact of age on driving maturity, it is ⁢essential to consider various factors ⁣that contribute ⁣to safe driving. While age can play a role in one’s decision-making abilities ​and overall maturity, it is not the sole determinant of a person’s driving capabilities. ‌Other⁤ factors such as driver training, experience, and psychological⁣ factors also play a significant role in⁤ determining one’s proficiency behind the wheel.

It is crucial to strike‌ a balance between safety⁢ concerns and ‍individual rights when⁤ discussing raising ⁣the driving age. While safety is paramount on the roads, it is also essential​ to consider the impact that such a regulation would ‍have‌ on teenagers’ independence and mobility. Finding a middle ground that incorporates additional training and education programs for young drivers may be a‍ more effective solution to improve road safety without restricting individual freedoms.

In​ conclusion, after closely examining the impact of age on‍ driving maturity, it is clear that raising the driving age‌ to 18 can have‌ significant benefits in promoting safer roads and reducing accidents involving young drivers. ⁣By increasing the⁢ level of experience⁢ and responsibility amongst young drivers, we can potentially save‌ lives and ⁢prevent unnecessary ⁣harm on the road. ‍While there may be ​some concerns about restricting freedoms, the ultimate goal should always be the safety​ and well-being of all⁢ road users. So,‌ let’s continue to have these important discussions and make informed decisions that prioritize the safety ‌of everyone on the road. Thank you ⁤for reading,‌ and remember, drive safely!

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Should we Raise the Legal Driving Age?

Legal Driving Age

The legal driving age has been a constant debate and every few years another log is thrown onto the fire. Should we really raise the legal age to drive? Would it save lives? If so, how high should we raise it? Currently, most states allow for teen drivers to apply for a driver’s permit 6 months after their 15th birthday. Some say this is way too soon.

Teen Driving is Deadly

It’s an unfortunate truth, but auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. A 16-year-old is almost twice as likely to die in a car crash than a 30-year-old. And with new issues such as cell phone driving , texting while driving , and other forms of distracted driving , there is good reason to debate this issue. If we can take the most dangerous drivers off the road, we will not only save the lives of young adults, but we will also make the roadways safer for everyone else.

But Driving is Deadly for all Age Groups

As stated, the leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds is auto accidents . They are the only age group where this is true.

However, car crashes are the leading cause of accidental death in all age groups over 4 years old ! Let’s face it, 15 to 24-year-olds aren’t plagued with disease and sickness like older folks are. So it’s only natural that their leading cause of death will be accidental, and will also be the leading accidental death for nearly every age group. So the stats aren’t exactly cut and dry.

The bottom line is that driving is dangerous for ALL ages, not just teens.

Is it Age or Inexperience? Consider These Points.

I s age really the biggest factor to consider? If we raise the legal driving age to, say, 17 years old, wouldn’t 17-year-olds have the highest accident rate simply due to lack of experience? Many argue that our decision-making skills aren’t fully developed at 16 (the legal age at which a license can actually be obtained). However, this is mostly unsubstantiated evidence and since every person develops differently, a blanketed law is going to punish those who are ready.

I’m a truck driver and see this with new truckers. The legal age to receive a commercial driver’s license is 18 years old, but most don’t obtain their commercial driver’s license until after the age of 21. The most dangerous truck drivers on the road are those with under 2 years of experience, regardless of age . It’s likely that if we simply raise the driving age, we will only shift the “problem drivers” to a higher age bracket.

By the way, be sure to check out these tips for driving around semi trucks

Major Issues with Raising the Legal Driving Age

Aside from young teens hating the idea, do we really want our teens dependent upon us for everything? Do we really want to chauffeur our teens everywhere, up until the point they graduate high school, go off to college, or even join the military?

Getting a driver’s license is a ‘right of passage’ so to speak. We have to “let go” at some point or another. Most teens don’t have access to public transit. We need to let them have some freedom. We need to let them get jobs. We need to let them grow up. And learning to drive is one of the very first steps into adulthood. The world is a dangerous place, but we must “let go” at some point.

A Graduated Solution

Every child and every teenager develops in their own unique way. Instead of forcing the government to make blanketed laws, let’s leave things the way they are and force parents to be parents. Allow mom and dad to decide if their child should drive or not. Who knows a teenager better than the teenagers guardian?

Most states have developed a “graduated licensing” program, which has proven to be successful. This includes more time behind the wheel with a supervised and licensed adult, more classroom time, and zero tolerance policies for traffic violations (a violation could result in further training or even license revocation).

Limiting forms of distracted driving is also a good idea. Some states have a graduated rider program. At first, no passengers are allowed unless it’s an adult. After some experience, they can bring more passengers on board. Zero tolerance cell phone use and driving curfew laws have also proven to be successful.

Traditionally, we have given full license privileges to 16 year olds. Instead of simply raising the driving age, we should continue to implement programs which slowly gives more driving privileges to teens as they prove themselves to be safe, trustworthy drivers. Let’s treat this as an experience issue, not an age issue.

Sometimes Life is Worth the Risks

We all live a fine line in life. Just about everything we do is dangerous. We could slip and fall in the shower, get hit by a car crossing the street, or die while riding a roller coaster. Does that mean we shouldn’t do anything in life that is remotely dangerous? Of course not.

Giving teens the ability to drive will give them invaluable life experiences. Yes, driving is risky. It’s risky no matter our age. But driving is one of those things we just can’t avoid in modern society, and teens should be able to experience the world with the freedom driving brings.

Limiting Risks is the Answer

Instead of blanket driving bans or raising the driving age, we should instead find ways to make the transition into adulthood safer for teens. Graduated driver’s license programs have greatly increased safety for teen drivers, along with safer cars, zero-tolerance laws for alcohol and distracted driving, curfews, better driver’s education , and more parental oversight with safe driving apps, dashcams, and GPS tracking.

Instead of arbitrarily raising the driving age, we should continue to explore and research ways to improve driving safety for teens as well as the overall motoring public.

Is the perfect answer? Not by a long shot. However, simply raising the driving age is not necessarily going to make roads safer. This is a fair compromise between safety, and giving teens the freedom they should be able to experience.

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The Case for Raising the Driving Age from 16 to 21 in the U.S.

should the driving age be raised to 18 argumentative essay

The ongoing debate about raising the legal driving age from 16 to 21 in the United States is being discussed more and more these days, with impassioned opinions on both sides. However, recent developments and a closer examination of the potential benefits make the case for raising the driving age increasingly persuasive. In this article, we’ll cover eight reasons why raising the driving age to 21 just might be the right move for the U.S.

1. Improved Road Safety: Saving Lives, One Teen at a Time

By far, the most powerful argument in favor of raising the driving age is the potential to save lives by reducing the number of traffic accidents involving teenage drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 16- to 19-year-olds are almost three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 and older. By raising the legal driving age, we could significantly reduce the risks and make our roads safer for everyone.

2. Maturity Matters: Let the Brain Catch Up

The teenage brain is a work in progress, especially when it comes to critical decision-making and impulse control. Research has shown that the prefrontal cortex – the region responsible for rational thinking – doesn’t fully mature until a person reaches their mid-20s. By raising the driving age to 21, we give young drivers a few more years to hone their decision-making abilities, which could lead to safer roads for all.

3. Alternatives Abound: Embracing Eco-Friendly Transportation

By raising the driving age to 21, we could encourage young people to seek alternative modes of transportation, such as biking, walking, or public transit. This shift has the potential to reduce traffic congestion, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and promote a healthier, more active lifestyle among young adults.

4. Insurance Savings: Cutting Costs for Families

The financial burden of insuring a teenage driver can be significant. According to a Forbes article , adding a teen driver to an insurance policy can increase premiums by as much as 250%. By raising the driving age, families would be able to save a substantial amount of money on insurance costs.

5. Less Peer Pressure: Reducing Risky Behavior on the Road

One contributing factor to the high number of accidents involving teenage drivers is the influence of peer pressure. With friends in the car, young drivers are more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as speeding, texting while driving, or not wearing seatbelts. By raising the driving age to 21, we could potentially reduce the impact of peer pressure on driving habits, as young adults may be better equipped to resist these pressures.

6. Reducing Distractions: A Focused Approach to Driving

In today’s fast-paced world, distractions are everywhere, and young drivers are particularly susceptible to the pitfalls of multitasking behind the wheel. Raising the driving age could offer a chance to instill better habits in young adults, emphasizing the importance of focus and undivided attention when operating a vehicle.

7. Parental Peace of Mind: Less Worry for Moms and Dads

It’s no secret that parents of teenage drivers often experience a great deal of anxiety, fearing for their child’s safety on the road. By raising the driving age to 21, parents could have greater peace of mind, knowing that their children will have more time to mature and develop better decision-making skills before venturing out on the road.

8. Patience Pays Off: Cultivating a Culture of Preparedness

By waiting until the age of 21 to obtain a driver’s license, young adults may place greater value on the privilege of driving, approaching it with more caution and respect. This shift in attitude could create a culture of preparedness, where new drivers are more inclined to take comprehensive driving courses and invest in further training before hitting the road.

The Road Ahead

Raising the driving age from 16 to 21 presents a compelling case, with numerous potential benefits ranging from improved road safety to fostering a more responsible attitude toward driving. As we continue to navigate this complex debate, it’s essential to consider these potential benefits while striving to create an environment that prioritizes safety and well-being for everyone on the road.

Current Legal Driving Age in Every State in the U.S.

Really, there isn’t one “legal driving age” in the U.S. It varies state to state, where each uses a graduated licensing system, involving several stages for earning driving privileges. In some states, you can earn a Learner’s Permit even as young as 14 years old! Check out this table below.

Alabama151617
Alaska141618
Arizona15 ½1616.5
Arkansas141618
California15 ½1618
Colorado151617
Connecticut1616.518
Delaware1616.517
Florida151618
Georgia151618
Hawaii15 ½1617
Idaho14 ½1517
Illinois151618
Indiana1516.518
Iowa141617
Kansas141617
Kentucky1616.518
Louisiana151617
Maine151618
Maryland15 ¾16.2518
Massachusetts1616.518
Michigan14 ¾1617
Minnesota151618
Mississippi151616.5
Missouri151618
Montana14 ½1516
Nebraska151617
Nevada15 ½1618
New Hampshire15 ½1617.5
New Jersey161718
New Mexico1515.517.5
New York1616.518
North Carolina151616.5
North Dakota141516
Ohio15.51618
Oklahoma15.516.518
Oregon151617
Pennsylvania1616.517.5
Rhode Island1616.517.5
South Carolina1515.516.5
South Dakota1414.516
Tennessee151617
Texas151618
Utah151617
Vermont151616.5
Virginia15.516.518
Washington151617
West Virginia151617
Wisconsin15.516.516.5
Wyoming151616.5

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Should The Driving Age Be Raised To 18?

National Motorists Association Blog

Should the driving age be raised to 18.

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

Is 16 too young to drive?

If you’re 16. you probably think not. But it’s those over 16 — adults like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Adrian Lund — who will get to be the deciders on this one. Lund and some others want to push the age at which a person can get their first driver’s license to 17 or even 18.

Of course, it’s all about “safety.”

Lund — a professional nag who heads an organization of nags — says that teenage drivers are a menace to themselves and others and wants to use the billy stick of the federal government (via withheld highway funds) to compel states to raise their legal driving age — just as the billy stick of federal money was used to impose the 55 mph speed limit , virtual Prohibition of alcohol and “primary enforcement” seat belt laws .

This time, it’s not merely “for the children” — it actually involves them.

And Lund is partially right. Teenagers do get into more than their fair share of wrecks. But is this due to their age — or their lack of training/experience?

There are some very young pro drivers — from NHRA to NASCAR. Maybe not sixteen-year-olds, but not far removed. At 15 or 16, some of these kids are better drivers than most of us will ever be. What to make of this fact?

Granted, these are exceptional kids — but the point’s not invalid: Experience and training probably mean a whole lot more than age — as such.

Will raising the age to 17 or 18 give a kid more experience — or less? Maybe the age at which we begin to train kids to drive should be lowered, not raised. Does it make more — or less — sense to toss a kid with zero hours behind the wheel a set of car keys at 17 or 18, when he is inches way from being legally free of any parental oversight whatsoever?

Maybe it would make more sense to begin teaching kids how to drive around 14 or 15 — easing them into it gradually, and with supervision — so that by the time they are 17 or 18 they have three or four years of experience behind them. That’s actually the way it used to be done, until public institutions such as public schools took over from parents and the whole process became bureaucratized and officialized — but with less than stellar results.

Driving is, after all, a skill like any other; it is not mastered overnight — or after a few weeks of classroom instruction and a couple of hours in the seat.

Logic says start them sooner, not later.

But that would make sense — and making sense is what IIHS is not all about. It exists to harp over problems often directly ginned up by its own propaganda. Mandatory buckle-up laws are an example of this. Ditto the neo-Prohibitionist crusade that has gone way beyond a legitimate effort to deal with drunk drivers that now mercilessly prosecutes people with trace amounts of alcohol in their system — as little as .06 or even .04 BAC, the level an average person can reach after having had a single glass of wine over dinner.

But I digress.

The other half of the equation when it comes to new/teenage drivers is proper instruction. What we do in this country — for the most part — is woefully inadequate. Many parents set poor examples — or are simply ill-equipped to properly instruct their kids in safe/competent driving. Ditto the so-called “schools” (especially those offered by the public schools) and the at-best cursory testing done by most DMVs before that first license is issued.

We don’t really show kids how to drive — especially how to handle emergency, such as a slide on black ice. Instead, we chant cant at them that’s obvious BS, such as “speed kills” — the driving equivalent of the BS about “marihuana” that’s peddled to them in Just Say No sessions. Kids are smart enough to see through this — but immature enough to then regard everything they’re taught by adults as BS.

This is dangerous.

Far better to really teach them — and to be honest with them.

I’d be ready to lay serious cash on the table to bet Lund that if you took an average 14 or 15 year old and had him or her trained by an expert instructor and properly supervised for a year or two before a provisional license was granted — after which the kid would still be monitored and quickly reined in at the first sign of reckless or incompetent behavior — the whole “teenage driver” thing would just disappear.

Problem is, there’s no money in that. Finding solutions to problems is not what IIS wants. IIHS wants crusades that never end. Just like MADD; just like politicians.

Just like the whole lot of them.

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16 Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age

The ability to earn a driver’s license at the age of 16 is a rite of passage for many families in the United States. With education programs allowing for the provision of an instructional at the age of 15 1/2 in some communities, it is an exciting stage that occurs for teens during the process of growing up.

Although there are several advantages for a family when another driver can run errands, teen drivers are also at a higher risk of accident or injury compared to any other population demographic. There are specific challenges that young people face behind the wheel because of their general lack of experience while driving as well.

One of the ideas proposed to counter the disadvantages of earning a driver’s license at 16 is the raise the driving age. By allowing for a longer period of instruction, the thought is that young people can become individual drivers with better skills because they have had more time to practice with their parents or instructors.

These are the significant pros and cons of raising the driving age.

List of the Pros of Raising the Driving Age

1. It could reduce the number of fatalities that occur on the road with teen drivers. One-third of the deaths in the 13-19 age demographic occur in motor vehicle crashes each year. That’s because young drivers are more likely to take risks when compared to the older generations behind the wheel. Every additional passenger in a vehicle with a 16- or 17-year-old driver increases the risk of a fatality occurring. Drivers who are 16 also have the highest crash rate than any other age. By requiring an instructor to stay with the teen until they got older, it would allow each young driver a chance to develop more positive habits.

2. It would encourage teens to be more physically active. If the driving age were raised from its current limits, then it would encourage young drivers to be physically active when they want to go somewhere outside of the home. Since getting behind the wheel would be off-limits, there could be an increase in walking, cycling, and other exercise-based movements. With up to 1 in 3 teens in some states being overweight or obese, we could encourage our children to work on their health while they also get more time to practice for their eventual driving test.

3. It would provide more opportunities to gain experience. 75% of the serious crashes that involve teen drivers are due to critical errors that happen behind the wheel. There are three common steps that young people miss when they are driving which account for almost half of all crashes: scanning for traffic and hazards to avoid, going too fast for the current conditions, and being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle. Since many new drivers exit their instructional period with significant deficits in these skill areas, the extra experience could help to reduce these risks.

4. It could reduce the cost of automotive insurance for families. When teen drivers are added to their parent’s automotive insurance, the price of a policy typically skyrockets. The average annual rate quoted for a teen driver in the United States is $2,267 as of 2017. Even adding one driver to an existing policy adds more than $600 to the cost of coverage on your vehicles. By raising the driving age, parents could show their child is a safe driver and secure some additional discounts to reduce this financial impact.

Even teens who maintain a clean driving record in the 15-19 age demographic face significantly higher auto insurance rates because they are four times more likely to be in a crash when compared to older drivers. Since rates don’t start to decline until the age of 25, some changes to how we issue a license could be beneficial to everyone.

5. It would create consistency throughout the U.S. for driving standards. Depending on the state where you live, there are different standards in place for when teens can obtain a license or permit. Some geographic regions allow teens as young as 14 to receive a learner’s permit. You can sometimes receive a restricted driver’s license at 16, while others offer an unrestricted adult license at that time. The global standard for driving is 18, but in the U.S., what is legal for a teen in one state might illegal in another.

6. It could reduce the amount of congestion on the road. Because there are fewer drivers on the roadways with an increase in the independent driving age, there could be less congestion in some communities. Schools would require fewer parking spots to accommodate student drivers, which means the land could be used for other facilities or needs. Fewer vehicles would also mean lower emissions generated for our transportation needs since students would carpool or take the bus to school, which could give our environment a small boost.

7. It would allow a teen’s physiology to mature. Science shows us that the human brain tends to be underdeveloped and volatile during one’s teenage years. That is one of the reasons why kids in this age demographic tend to be impulsive, emotionally unstable, and fail to predict what the consequences of their actions will be. Because all of these skills are essential to the driving process, raising the driving age would allow for young people to finish physically maturing in a way that will eventually make them better drivers.

8. It gives new drivers an opportunity to work with today’s intuitive assistance technologies. Driving today is a very different experience for young drivers than it was even a generation ago. Teens in the 1990s were still managing all aspects of the driving experience through their personal skill because vehicles came with minimal features. Now 16-year-olds have access to lane assist technology, automatic braking, and some vehicles can even park themselves. By working with these features early, they can begin to master them as they gain more wisdom behind the wheel.

List of the Cons of Raising the Driving Age

1. It doesn’t guarantee an increase in driving skills. Raising the driving age from 16 to any age does not matter if there isn’t something in the societal infrastructure that provides the new driver with experience. Even someone who gets behind the wheel at age 25 without any experience will struggle in the same ways that a 16-year-old does during their first driving sessions. The only way for this disadvantage to disappear is to offer meaningful, affordable lessons in each community that gets people driving since you can’t learn everything in the classroom environment.

2. It makes the family schedule more challenging to manage. When kids reach a certain age, they begin to manage a job while they are going to school. There are athletic practices to attend, often right after school. If a 16-year-old (or 17) is unable to drive because the driving age was raised, then someone else in the family must step up to provide these transportation services. If that isn’t possible, then carpooling with other families would also be necessary. This added pressure could make it challenging to manage the career responsibilities of the parents in a single-guardian home or one where both are working to make ends meet.

3. It communicates a lack of trust in the young drivers. Although young drivers do make significantly more serious mistakes on the road when compared to others, it would be incorrect to say that 16-year-olds are responsible for every major incident. If we decide to raise the driving age because of these statistics, then we are effectively discriminating against these kids since the same process is not followed for older drivers. This disadvantage shows that we do not trust all drivers of a certain age, even though there are many young teens who are very responsible behind the wheel and never in accidents.

4. It would prevent them from learning the responsibilities of vehicle ownership. The idea of getting behind the wheel is very exciting for most new drivers, but the responsibility of vehicle ownership is a necessary part of the experience. Raising the driving age would prevent some teens from learning about the responsibility of budgeting for fuel expenses while traveling to school and work. You would also miss the experience of applying for an insurance policy or getting added to the parent/guardian plan. There are even the lessons on vehicle maintenance to consider that wouldn’t always be taken as seriously since there is less independence.

5. It could place the safety of our children at risk. Although taking 16-year-olds out of the vehicle would potentially reduce the risk of being in an accident, having them take public transportation or carpool just increases the potential for problems in other areas. Teens who walk, take a bicycle, or ride a bus to school have a higher risk of encountering a dangerous person or situation without adult supervision present to protect them. They have limited mobility without the vehicle to get away. In neighborhoods where the crime rate is high, this issue just trades one problem for another.

6. It eliminates a family’s freedom to choose what is necessary for their needs. It is interesting that the right to drive a vehicle creates a passionate debate about safety when teens can receive training to handle firearms. If we raise the driving age, then kids could legally possess long guns and ammunition in the United States, but they wouldn’t be permitted to get behind the wheel. There are approximately 3,000 automotive related deaths among teens in the United States each year, which is about the same number of kids who die from gunshot wounds. How can we debate the merits of taking a driver’s license away if we will not debate the same need for firearm ownership for young people?

7. It would still leave a patchwork of confusing driving laws. Individual states in the U.S. have the power to regulate what the driving age is within their state borders. Even if every legislature decided to add requirements that stopped 16-year-olds from getting behind the wheel, there would still be differences in state laws that teen drivers would encounter that could get them into trouble if they were unaware of the change. The only want to really see all of the advantages of this idea would be for the federal government to institute a nationwide change somehow. Since the structure of the government makes this a challenging outcome, we may never see the full life-saving benefits which we might achieve when implementing this idea.

8. It would create an economic deficit for the insurance industry. The premiums are so high for teen drivers because of the risks that they pose on the road. Although 16-year-old drivers are at a higher risk of being in an accident, not every kid with a driver’s license has this happen to them. About 60% of teen drivers are never in an accident before the age of 20 when they are behind the wheel. The insurance companies can charge inflated premiums because of the collected statistics today that they wouldn’t be able to do tomorrow with a higher age limit. That action could create some economic deficits that might even put some professionals out of a job.

In Conclusion with the Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age

Whether you are for an increase in the driving age or you believe that the current structure in society should remain the same, we can all agree on the need for training above everything else. If an untrained driver of any age gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, then that action increases the risks for everyone else on the road. The problem is often a lack of experience more than it is a problem with maturity or awareness.

Although the rate of accidents drops dramatically when comparing a 16-year-old driver to an 18-year-old one, the data suggests that the reason why this occurs is because of the experience that drivers get behind the wheel. Is it possible to gain that wisdom with a restricted license or a permit that requires another driver to be in the vehicle? Or should an unrestricted adult license be the better solution?

The pros and cons of raising the driving age often create more questions than answers. Some states in the U.S. might offer opportunities that are below the global standard, but the question must be answered by legislatures across the country. If you feel this debate is something that could save lives one day, then contact your state legislators to share with them how you feel.

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should the driving age be raised to 18 argumentative essay

Home | Car Safety | Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age

Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age

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Arguments for raising the driving age

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is running a Put the Phone Away or Pay campaign during distracted driving awareness month, which is each April. Though we are all susceptible to distracted driving, the NHTSA says drivers ages 16-24 are distracted by devices at higher rates than others. Here are some data-based arguments to be made in favor of raising the minimum driving age.

1. It could reduce fatal crashes

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , the rate of fatal crashes per mile driven is nearly 3 times higher for teens aged 16 to 19 as it is for drivers over the age of 20. 1 It is thought that raising the driving age to 18 could help lower the overall rate of fatal crashes.

2. It could make teens more active

It is thought that removing the option to drive will cause more teens to walk, ride bikes, or use other active options to get places. This could cut back on teenage obesity levels by providing more opportunities for exercise.

3. 18-year-olds are more emotionally mature than 16-year-olds

Emotional maturity increases as we age, and it’s thought that 18-year-olds are more likely to make smart decisions without giving in to peer pressure than 16-year-olds.

Arguments against raising the driving age

Here are two common arguments in favor of keeping things the same.

1. It would limit transportation options for teens

Teens these days may not be as physically active as they ought to be, but they're definitely busy. School, extracurricular activities, jobs, and social events usually require some form of transportation.

If the teens can’t drive themselves, the responsibility for transportation often falls to their parents—who may not have the time or ability—or to public transportation, which may not be readily available. And with most American cities being built with drivers in mind, walking or biking long distances may not be practical or safe either.

All in all, fewer transportation options could limit the opportunities kids have for personal growth at a critical age.

2. Teen car crash stats would skew toward the new minimum age

 The argument here is that the higher crash rates for 16- and 17-year-olds may just be because they are new to driving and lack experience. Delaying the start of driving may just delay that learning and shift the crash rates more toward the 18- and 19-year-olds. 

Teaching teens to be safe drivers

Whichever side of the argument you fall on, we encourage you to stay invested in your child’s safety as they learn to drive.

Consider these gadgets to keep them accountable: 

  • A vehicle gps tracker
  • A dash cam  
  • A driving safety app like Life360

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Home — Essay Samples — Social Issues — Human Rights — Driving Age

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Essay Examples on Driving Age

Prompt examples for driving age essays, the optimal minimum driving age.

Debate the ideal minimum driving age, considering factors such as safety, maturity, and the legal voting and drinking ages.

Teenage Brain Development and Driving

Discuss the relationship between teenage brain development, impulse control, and decision-making skills in the context of setting the minimum driving age.

Teenage Accident Statistics

Analyze statistical data on teenage accidents and fatalities to make a case for or against raising or lowering the minimum driving age.

Parental Supervision and Driver's Education

Examine the role of parental supervision and driver's education programs in preparing young drivers and ensuring road safety.

International Driving Age Standards

Compare the minimum driving age in your country to that of other countries and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different age requirements.

Driving Age and Economic Factors

Explore how the minimum driving age can impact the economy, including factors like transportation costs, workforce mobility, and employment opportunities for young people.

Graduated Licensing Systems

Discuss the effectiveness of graduated licensing systems in gradually introducing young drivers to the road and reducing accidents.

Peer Influence and Teen Driving

Examine the role of peer influence and social factors in teenage driving behavior and accidents.

The Role of Technology in Driver Safety

Analyze how advancements in technology, such as driver-assistance systems and smartphone apps, can impact the safety of young drivers.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Discuss the legal and ethical considerations surrounding setting the minimum driving age, including issues related to personal freedom, safety, and responsibility.

Argumentative Points: Why Should The Driving Age Be Raised to 21

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Why Increasing The Age of Acquiring a Driving License to Eighteen is not a Solution

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Why The Driving Age Should not Be Raised

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  2. Should Driving Age Be Raised: [Essay Example], 598 words

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  13. Raising the Driving Age to 18: Persuasive Essay

    Should the Driving Age Be Raised to 18: Persuasive Essay Make sure you submit a unique essay Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

  14. Should Driving Age Be Lowered: [Essay Example], 549 words

    Argumentative Points: Why Should the Driving Age be Raised to 21 Essay Getting a driver's license is a huge milestone for a teenager and can be considered a rite of passage. In the United States the legal age requirement for a driver's license varies from state to state.

  15. The Case for Raising the Driving Age from 16 to 21 in the U.S

    By far, the most powerful argument in favor of raising the driving age is the potential to save lives by reducing the number of traffic accidents involving teenage drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 16- to 19-year-olds are almost three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 and older.

  16. Argumentative Essay

    This is an essay on whether the driving age should be raised or not. the big debate as to whether the legal driving age should be raised is an ongoing issue. ... Argumentative Essay. This is an essay on whether the driving age should be raised or not. ... At this point it's a must that we change the driving age to 18 to reduce the amount of ...

  17. Should The Driving Age Be Raised To 18?

    Of course, it's all about "safety." Lund — a professional nag who heads an organization of nags — says that teenage drivers are a menace to themselves and others and wants to use the billy stick of the federal government (via withheld highway funds) to compel states to raise their legal driving age — just as the billy stick of federal money was used to impose the 55 mph speed limit ...

  18. 16 Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age

    The global standard for driving is 18, but in the U.S., what is legal for a teen in one state might illegal in another. 6. It could reduce the amount of congestion on the road. ... If we raise the driving age, then kids could legally possess long guns and ammunition in the United States, but they wouldn't be permitted to get behind the wheel ...

  19. Should Driving Age Be Raised To 18 Essay

    The driving age should not be raised because driving gives one freedom, driving allows teens to work, and driving teaches responsibility. Read More Argumentative Essay: Keeping The Driving Age

  20. Should the Driving Age Be Raised?

    Learn more about why the US should or shouldn't raise the driving age to 18 years old. ... nearly 3 times higher for teens aged 16 to 19 as it is for drivers over the age of 20. 1 It is thought that raising the driving age to 18 could help lower the overall ... The argument here is that the higher crash rates for 16- and 17-year-olds may just ...

  21. Should The Driving Age Be Raised to 18: Argumentative [Free Essay

    📖 About the Essay:The essay argues for raising the driving age to 18, citing high accident rates among teenage drivers and their underdeveloped decision-mak...

  22. Why increasing the age of acquiring a driving license to eighteen is

    Argumentative Points: Why Should the Driving Age be Raised to 21 Essay Getting a driver's license is a huge milestone for a teenager and can be considered a rite of passage. In the United States the legal age requirement for a driver's license varies from state to state.

  23. Essay Examples on Driving Age

    Should the driving age be raised to 18? Essay on this topic can cause a lot of debates. It has been a common thing for teenagers to learn how to drive at 15, and get their license at 16. ... While the legal driving age is currently 18 in most countries, there is a growing argument that the driving age should be lowered to 16 or even 14 ...