Sweet 16: Not So Sweet, Driving Age Must Be 18

April 13, 2008
By Johnny Shea, Fairfield, CT

Happy Birthday, kiddo. You're 16. Now you have responsibilities. You go to the mall with your friends, catch a movie, and take the car home. But is it safe? Is 16 the correct driving age in the nation?

Motor vehicle collisions continue to be a major public health problem resulting in a high incidence of mortality among adolescents in the United States, despite legislative changes such as required seat belt usage and drunk driving regulations. Although the efficacy of driver education remains incompletely investigated, it appears that early licensure results in increased number of collisions, especially in teens licensed at an early age. Teenagers have not developed enough maturity, experience, or judgment skills to obtain a license at sixteen. Therefore, state legislators have the rightful purpose to raise the driving age from sixteen to eighteen.

According to a report by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, roughly one-third of 16-year old drivers are involved in serious crashes, and the same exists for all 50 states in the nation. Yet, the driving age remains at 16. Why? I can't tell you. All of the reasons point to Congress to increase the age, but it has yet to happen.

The majority of teens in the nation would like to drive as soon as possible, and may be shaking their heads as they read this article but I can promise you that my 16-year old sister and all of her friends are certainly not ready to drive. The same applies for all 16 and 17 year olds across the nation.

If you care about your siblings or your own lives, support my idea and help promote the change. The level of immortalities due to the early-aged licsense is incredibly negative.

Congress must make a change and they must do it now. The future of the nation's youth and safety is in our hands. The United States must make a change. Increase the driving age to 18.

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