16 Year Olds and Driving Permits

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  • Topic: Driving, Driver's license, Driver's education
  • Pages : 6 (2535 words )
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  • Published : November 6, 2011
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16 Year Olds and Driving Permits
Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of death among teenagers in the United States. A question among many debaters is if teens should be allowed to drive at the age of 16, what about if it affects the driver to drive with other teens, also if it affects the driver to be driving at night. I will list the positives and negatives of these the questions, and you, the reader, may choose your side. In 1998, 38% of deaths from all causes among teens 15 to 19 years of age resulted from motor vehicle crashes.(1) At age 16, a driver is 2.7 times more like to get in a crash than a driver at age 18, and is 3.9 times more likely than 19 year olds.(2) The question greatly debated among many people is whether or not the driving age should be raised from 16 to 18. Many polls and statistics show that American favor raising the driving age. A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll has found that nearly two-thirds (61%) say they think a 16-year-old is too young to have a driver's license. Only 37% of those who polled thought it was okay to license 16 year olds. The same poll was done in 1995 and the result was that 50% of Americans thought it was okay to license 16 year olds. This means that many Americans have lost respect of teen drivers. A poll of 1,002 adults, conducted December 17-19, 2004, stated that 53% of adults favor raising the minimum driving age to 18. Most people state that there are a lot of immature drivers out on the road, but there are also many mature drivers who are capable of handling the task of driving at the age of 16. In the early 1900’s America began to mass produce the new invention called the car. There were no laws about the minimum age of driving until 1939 when the government required that the minimum age to drive be 18. In 1957, America began to run a license system that allowed for a person to require a learner’s permit at the age of 15. The student was required to wait one year to obtain his driving permit. So the minimum age a person could attain his license was at age 16. If someone acquired their license at age 21 or older, there was no waiting period to attain a driver’s permit. This system worked well at first because students were more mature; therefore better drivers back then. Adults agreed that they were satisfied with the current rules and restrictions of someone attaining their driver’s license. But in the early 1990’s teens began to get in an overwhelming amount of car crashes. The government debated on an answer to the problem for about 3 years, and this was their solution. All states in America now follow a law called, Graduated Driver Licensing. Florida in 1996 became the first state to initiate Graduated Driver Licensing. This is a system designed to phase in young drivers to full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills. There are 3 stages to a graduated system: a supervised learner's period (age 15); an intermediate license (age 16) that limits driving in high-risk situations except under supervision; and then a license with full privileges (age 16.5, but depends on the state), available after completing the first 2 stages. Statistics show the best Graduated Driver Licensing systems include a learner's stage beginning at age 16 and lasting at least 6 months, 30 or more hours of supervised driving, plus restrictions on unsupervised night driving and passengers during the first 6 to 12 months of licensure. In my preference nighttime driving restriction should start at 9 p.m., and no more than 1 teen passenger should be allowed any time of day. No state currently meets or exceeds all of these requirements, but most states do impose some of these requirements. Some states add other requirements including belt use provisions, cell phone use restrictions, penalty systems so that violations result in license suspension or extension of the holding period, and driver education. A survey conducted in 2004 showed that states that...
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