Teen Driving: Safe At 16?
When a new driver gets behind the wheel, how do you know they are old enough? Do you consider their maturity level and ability to comprehend an emergency situation or do you just assume at the age of 16 they are ready to start driving? This has been a concern for many years now and is still being questioned to this day. Teen driving has many fatal results but they differ in age groups. Some people are worried 16 is too young for a teen to be driving and believe the legal driving age should be raised to 18. The article “Teen Driver Restrictions a Mixed Bag” by Shari Roan discusses the results of study on teen drivers of different ages. Many states across the United States have set restrictions on young teen drivers, thinking this will help keep the number of fatal car accidents down but now after nationwide research, experts seem to believe this has backfired. “While the number of fatal crashes among 16- and 17-year-old drivers has fallen, deadly accidents among 18-to 19-year-olds have risen by an almost equal amount.” This may be true but even then experts are not completely sure why; they believe it is caused by immaturity and inexperience that makes a young teen more vulnerable to a vehicle accident. Though many teens vary in their maturity level at the age of 16, some may be ready to drive and some may not be. Car accidents can happen to anyone at any age but they “are the leading cause of death among teens, resulting in 4,054 fatalities in 2008, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Va.” Most states have graduated driver licensing programs which don’t allow young drivers to take certain higher-risk situations such as driving on the road at night, the use of cell phones while driving and driving with passengers. These programs were first tested out in the late 1990s and continue to be put to use today. Each state varies in their rules for the programs but the majority of them have the same requirements...
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