Policy Paper

Topics: Driver's license, Driver's education, Driving Pages: 5 (1669 words) Published: April 2, 2013

By: Aaron Keilman
By: Aaron Keilman

Over the past decade, the legal driving age has been a hotly debated topic around the US. Most teen drivers nowadays believe that they are immune to the dangers of driving. Sadly, the numbers prove otherwise. The number of accidents per year by teens statistically, is a lot more than the number of accidents involving adults. For a decade now, teen driving accidents have been the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide. Because of the amount of deaths of teenage drivers, some states have started to delay the age at which people are allowed to have full driving privileges. But the real question is; will increasing the driving age decrease the amount of deaths involving new drivers? Some people believe that it won’t help at all. Others believe increasing the legal age will reduce the amount of deaths dramatically.

According to the article “Update: Teen Driving”, “Since 1996, every state has adopted some type of “graduated driver’s license” program”. The article says that Florida was the first implement the GDL program by placing a number of restrictions on teen drivers such as night driving, limiting the number of passengers they can transport at a time, and requiring them to log the amount of hours they spend behind the wheel with adult supervision before they gain full legal driving privileges. Almost all states have implemented this kind of program for beginner drivers. Depending on the state, teens are also required to complete some sort of extra driving education or additional tests before being legally licensed. Government policies such as these GDL programs are designed to help reduce the amount of accidents involving teenage drivers and to prevent increasing deaths. However, some people still believe these programs are not enough to lower the fatalities of teenage drivers.

There are many arguments for increasing the driving age. An obvious pro is the amount of deaths of 16 year old drivers will most likely decrease dramatically because they won’t be allowed behind the wheel. Another argument for is that there will be less accidents involving underage drinking. If the driving age is increased, people believe that there will be an enormous decrease in the amount of deaths of teenagers from drinking and driving. They believe teenagers are more prone to drinking and driving because they don’t realize the risk involved in it. Arguments for increasing the driving age suggest teens aren’t mature enough to handle the responsibilities of operating a car. They say the amount of “stupid” accidents that take place such as racing, texting and goofing off while behind the driver’s seat. Teens would also have less of a chance to get into a car accident because of their inexperience behind the wheel and peer pressure. As teenagers get older, or mature, and their hormones settle into their body and it truly allows them to think better, react faster and make better decisions on the road. People that argue for the driving age to increase suggest that this is a huge factor in driving safely and properly and is a major reason the driving age should be increased. It is proven that 16 and 17 year olds get into more accidents then 18 and 19 year olds. Many believe this is because of inexperience. Others say 16 year olds aren’t responsible enough yet and push the envelope while behind the wheel. Another advantage to increasing the driving age is that parents will have more control over their kids for a longer period of time. Arguments for say, instead of giving 16 year olds the freedom of driving themselves where ever they want, parents would be able to watch over them until their children reach a reasonable age. When teenagers are able to drive themselves at 16, they could be doing more stupid things like buying drugs or alcohol. If they can’t get their license until...
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