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The Driving Age

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The Driving Age
6.01 Introduction
Chandra Martz
Tia Tassava

Many people question the driving age. Parents, terrified about their little babies driving for the first time. Adults, knowledgeable of how young they were in high school. Thirteen year olds, anxious to start driving. Teenagers, who already have their permits.
I do not believe a fourteen year old is more mature than a seventeen year old. I do not believe a seventeen year old is more responsible than a fourteen year old. I have watched my cousin grow up beside me for the last fifteen years. I was close enough to her in age that I was able to grow up right beside her. I knew my cousin when she was fourteen and I was eleven, I knew her when I was fourteen and she was seventeen. My cousin seemed to grow up between those ages, and yet she didn’t seem to grow up at all. It was strange, watching her get older, watching her hair get longer, but for her to not seem to grow up at all. Sure, she seemed more responsible, she seemed more mature, but it wasn’t enough to really make a difference. It wasn’t until my cousin was eighteen and three months into her new job when the realization hit me. My cousin had grown more in those three months than she had her entire four years of high school.
After realizing it with my cousin, I looked at the friends I knew. I looked at the girls on my hockey team. I looked at the boys that were my teammates. I started to realize how young we all were. Girls pranced around with their cellphones in one hand, purses swinging on their arms, while they discussed the drama of their high school relationship. Boys thought they knew what it was like to be an adult and got carried away with things far beyond their comprehension and understanding. Everywhere, girls and boys, all thirteen through eighteen, think they’re older than they are, convincing those around them they’re grown up and responsible. It isn’t until later that anybody realizes how wrong they are, if they ever realize at all.
I don’t believe raising the driving age by a year would change anything at all. A year isn’t enough time in the life of a high school student. Many would argue that a year or two gives a teenager a little more life experience. But what does that life experience do or add to a person wrapped up in dramatic high school. A high school student is young. Many high school students stay young until they’re twenty. Some high school students never actually grow up.
I have watched the people around me. People will argue over the driving age because they can. I, however, firmly believe that raising it or lowering it will cause nothing to change. Teenagers are too young, either way, and all anybody can do is attempt to prepare them for the hazards of driving and caution them with warnings. After that, hold on like a roller coaster and try not to scream.

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