Show MoreTeens only make up seventeen percent of the population today, but almost twenty percent of fatal crashes are due to teenagers behind the wheel. Growing numbers suggest to change the driving age to eighteen and some even believe that changing it to twenty-one may save even more lives. With a sixteen year old behind the wheel, accidents are even more likely to occur when compared to a seventeen year old (Boulard). With so much new technology in today’s society there are more distractions on the road than ever before; therefore the legal driving age should be raised to save more lives. If we do not act quickly then more lives will be lost. From when the first few cars where made teens have been behind the wheel. Many states did not require…show more content…
More than two thirds of that number is a single vehicle crash that happened over night, three fourths were male drivers. If a teens at the wheel, crashes fit a pattern. Putting a sixteen year old male behind the wheel of a top heavy vehicle, adding two sixteen year old girls and one more male, subtract seat belts, and finally, let them travel fast; that's a common formula that almost always ends badly. “With in coming years a record 17.5 million teens will be eligible to drive once the peak of the 'Baby Boom-let' hits driving age by the end of this decade.” In 2000 there were 1.3 teen drivers, in a 2010 the number rose to 8.4 teenagers eligible(O’Donnell). In a 2006 there was a new study done showing why teens have the highest crash rate that sky rockets above any other age group in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, the part of the brain that weighs risks, controls impulsive behavior, careless attitude, and rash emotions is underdeveloped until the age of twenty-one. Jay Gieed, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatric unit at the National Institute of Mental Health is behind this particular study: “Gieed points to an image of a brain on his computer screen that illustrated brain development from childhood to adulthood. As he sets the time lapse in motion, the brain turns blue rapidly in some area and more slowly in others—which represents development over time—is the right side just
Raising the driving age to 18
Imagine yourself as a sixteen year-old. You just got your driver's license, and are going to go cruising with your friends to celebrate. However, at about ten o'clock, your attention isn't on the road, and you crash into another vehicle. Two of your friends die on scene, and your other friend is seriously injured. For thousands of teens each year, this is a reality. Sixteen year-old drivers are three times more likely to crash than seventeen year olds, five times more likely to crash than eighteen year olds, and two times more likely than eighty five year olds! I think the driving age should be raised to eighteen in order to protect people for many reasons.
Changing the driving age to eighteen is a good idea because fewer deaths and accidents would result. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,827 drivers in the 15-20 age bracket died in 2002. One hundred eighty fewer died in the same age bracket in 2003. Several countries have done studies on raising the driving age and found that the younger people start driving, the more likely they'll crash. It also proved that because younger people's brains haven't developed completely, and that reduces their capabilities to be a responsible, safe driver. This is one reason to raise the driving age to eighteen.
Raising the driving age to eighteen would make it so that there would be more time to teach teens how to drive. Many countries have employed the usage of the Graduated Drivers' Licensing System (GDL). The GDL has given very promising results, with a drastic reduction of car accidents. The GDL system works because it first requires that teenagers take both a class based, and road based course with qualified instructors. Then, once teens have passed that portion and get their license, they have many limits and restrictions set. Some include the times you are allowed to drive, maintaining a BAC (blood alcohol content) of under .01%, and the number of passengers under eighteen you may have in the car with you. Slowly, these bans are lifted over time, resulting in well experienced drivers. This technique has been applied in Germany, and many other countries with great success and fewer accidents on the roads.
One final reason to raise the driving age is because sixteen and seventeen year olds have little experience driving. It's been proven over and over that the longer you learn and practice something, the better you'll be. Lack of experience is the number one reason why teens are in accidents each year. The reason? Sixteen and seventeen year-olds haven't dealt with weather complications, construction zones, and animals on the road, so they don't know how to react. Seat belt usage is also lowest with teens, despite the fact that they protect the wearer, and they are required by law in Ohio and many other states. Sixteen and seventeen year old drivers also haven't had experience with road rage, which older, more experienced drivers would have learned to deal with. This is a second reason to raise the driving age to eighteen in Ohio.
There are many who oppose raising the driving age to eighteen however. One argument on this is that it wouldn't be fair to teenagers who could have been able to drive now have to rely on parents or other family members to get them from A to B. Now, while this does prove to be an inconvenience, these teens who would be driving and possibly getting into car crashes are being driven by drivers who are older, more experience, and drastically less likely to be in a fatal car crash. Another reason they argue with this is because car dealerships would loose money. This isn't necessarily true due to the fact that few rarely do teens get a car from a dealership when they turn sixteen. Most often, a car is obtained through newspaper ads, Internet ads, or signs posted in car windows from private citizens due to the fact that they are much cheaper. One final reason is that it is punishing all teens for the mess ups of a minority. Raising the driving age isn't to punish teens, it's to protect them from being killed or injured in an accident that could occur if they were driving.
More teens die on the roads then the number of deaths reported on 9/11, or American soldiers who died before or after the war in Iraq. Clearly, sixteen and seventeen year olds are not ready for such an experience, as they are neither knowledgeable, experienced, or mature enough to be safe while driving. Raising the driving age, and employing a stricter, more prolonged GDL program, is the best way to protect teens and other drivers who are involved in these accidents.