Raising of the Driving Age

March 7, 2008
By edgar almanza, Imperial, NE

The raising of the driving age has been a hot topic the last couple of years in the United States gaining more support each year. You always hear on the news about people trying to raise the driving age. “Americans increasingly favor raising the driving age, a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll has found. Nearly two-thirds — 61% — say they think a 16-year-old is too young to have a driver's license. Only 37% of those polled thought it was OK to license 16-year-olds, compared with 50% who thought so in 1995. A slight majority, 53%, think teens should be at least 18 to get a license.”(Davis) They want to raise the driving age from 16 to the age of 18. They think that 16 year olds aren’t capable of driving yet because of maturity. They think that 16 year olds get more distracted on the road and get in more accidents than other people. I don’t agree with this. Sixteen year olds aren’t the only ones who get distracted. Any one can get distracted and have an accident at any moment.
Brain and auto safety experts fear that 16-year-old, the youngest licensed in most states, are too immature to hand today’s cars and roadway risks. New findings from brain researchers at the National Institutes of Health explain for the first time why efforts to protect the youngest drivers usually fail. The weak link: what's called "the executive branch" of the teen brain — the part that weighs risks, makes judgments and controls impulsive behavior. Scientists at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., have found that this vital area develops through the teenage years and isn't fully mature until age 25. (Davis)
I think this just immature teens with adrenaline rushes having fun by drag racing, or doing some other kinds of reckless driving. Sixteen isn’t too young to drive a car.

Another reason why states are trying to set driving age to 18 is that they say we will get more experience if we wait two year. They think that we will have more experience because we have more time to learn how to drive. I don’t think this would work because if the driving age is set at 18, teens won’t be able to drive to get driving experience. I think the only way a teen can get driving experience is by driving not by watching others drive for two more years. Most of the people who want to raise the driving age from 16 to 18 are people who live in urban and suburbs. Where people live closer together and high speed driving is more prone to happen on the interstates that run through cities. In rural areas kids start driving at a young age to help out with work load at the farm. They also get special permits to drive to school and back.
Many states want to change the driving age. They want to change it from 16 to 18. I don’t think they should change it. Other kinds of enforcements are starting to take place. “Many states have begun to raise the age by imposing restrictions on 16-year-old drivers. Examples: limiting the number of passengers they can carry or barring late-night driving. But the idea of flatly forbidding 16-year-olds to drive without parental supervision –as New Jersey does-has run into resistance from lawmakers and parents around the country.”(Davis) Will some people want to scan teen’s brains to see if they are neurologically fit to drive. “But Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatric unit at the National Institute of Mental Health says that ethical crossroad is too radical to seriously consider today.”We are just at the threshold of this," he says.”(Davis)
Responsible teen shouldn’t be punished for the mistakes other teens have made. Sixteen isn’t too young to drive a car.

Works Cited
Robert Davis. “Is 16 too young to drive a car?” USA Today
2 March 2005 Yee, Tiffany. “Do you think the driving age should be raised?” 18 Nov.2004

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

christa said...
on Jun. 18 2009 at 11:46 pm
christa, Springville, Utah
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
err... how long has the driving age been 16?? Like, forever, right? Ad it seems to have been working fine. I think the real problem is cell phones and cameras distracting them. If anything, I think they should outlaw electronics while driving. I think that could curb the amount of teens getting in accidents and make them much safer drivers.. :)


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!