Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



March 2010

Raising the Driving Age Limit?

by Staff, on at risk youth, at risk youth blog, car accidents, driving age, driving age limit, raising driving age, risk youth, teen drivers, teen driving, teenage drivers

One of the most talked about issues in the past few weeks has been the driving age, when should kids get their drivers license. We will know soon what they decided, but depending on state to state of course the minimum driving age might be raised to 17 or 18 year old. To understand why that is now the issue we will talk about some statistics and reasons why driving at 18 is much different than driving at 16. US is one of the few countries that gives driving licenses for 16 year olds, and unfortunately US has the highest percentage of teen car accidents, that is to be expected.

First off there is the physiological development, a 16 year old is light years immature compared to an 18 year old. There is a world of difference how a 16 year old can comprehend and react. Teen drivers are a big risk, they are immature, inexperienced and they tend to underestimate the dangerous of the road. There are numerous facts that say that teenagers are just bad drivers and only a few of them can deal with this responsibility we bestowed upon them.
-    The leading cause of deaths for US teenagers are vehicle, car accidents -    Over 5,000 teenagers die each year in car accidents, more than 3,000 of them didn’t have their seat belts on. -    Over 300,000 teenagers are injured each year in car accidents -    Fatality rate for teenagers compared to adults is 4 to 1 -    Over the past 10  years over 60,000 teenage drivers died in car accidents These statistics are frightening, they really are. Once you look at these numbers and think about how many teen drivers you know that was in an accident or even died, you will realize why there is so much talk about raising the driving age. Teenagers will be mad and they will cause trouble but if raising the driving age limit to 18 will cause less accidents and less fatalities then we should all be for it. The research shows that 18 year old is more mature and will easily understand the basics unlike the 16 year old. But there is still much insecurity and they still are hot headed so there is not telling what they could do. If the researchers are correct than the ideal age for driving is over 25, but there isn’t a single person in the world that will wait until they are 25 to start driving. So only thing we can hope for is that 18 years old is more than enough to lower the fatality number of teen drivers.
Teen driving has become more than a risk in the US. If we were to look the statistics in Europe, where 18 year old is the minimum age for driving, we will see that number of fatalities is much smaller, in fact it’s twice smaller than in the US. Not just fatalities, but also the number of accidents is significantly smaller. So should driving age be raised to 18? My vote is yes, but I’m not the only one that gets to decide, we all do. The reason I am for it is that I would love to see more of our teenagers grow up and get to see what old age is like. Staff