A Driving Age: A Necessary Change
A Driving Age: A Necessary Change
Many accidents involving the teenage drivers have resulted in the demand for increasing the minimum driving age prescribed by the government authorities. This paper will argue that by enhancing the minimum driving age, it is possible to reduce the numbers of death that take place due to accidents committed by teenagers who are given the driving license. According to the current traffic rules in force in many states of the USA, minimum age required for obtaining driving license is 16 years.
An analysis of the accidents shows that there is a need to enhance the minimum driving age. (Kelly 48) One can expect that by rising the driving age, it is possible to reduce the number of casualties that take place due to reckless driving habits of the teenagers. The late part of this paper will produce evidences to suggest that drivers at the age of 16 years possess less maturity and driving skills compared to drivers at the age of 18 years. Therefore, there is a need to increase the minimum driving age to 18 years.
Driving license has been considered as “it’s a palm-size ticket to freedom, the chance to spend a parent-free Saturday night cruising with friends, feeling like an American Graffiti star even inside the family Hyundai. ” (Kelly 48) The teenagers consider that driving license is the greatest thing that they can achieve in their lives. This is because teenagers who possess driving license cannot be stopped from using the motor vehicles, whether two wheelers or four wheelers. Unfortunately, this freedom given to the teenagers has resulted in several accidents leading to the injury and death of teenagers.
A study found that compared to 16 years, drivers at the age of 20 years committed less number of accidents. (Kelly 48). The time has come for the authorities to take determined action with a view to reduce the number of accidents. Realizing this, some states have already proposed “graduated licensing laws” which are aimed to reduce the privileges that are being enjoyed by the teenage drivers. (Kelly 48) With the introduction of graduated licensing policy, the number of accidents involving teenagers is likely to fall.
(Kelly 48) This is because by following this policy, the government has restricted the driving rights of the teenagers. At the same time, this is not the permanent solution to the problem of increased numbers of accidents taking place due to teenage drivers. In the Massachusetts nearly one-third of teenagers are involved in serious accidents resulting in their severe injury or death. (The right 1) It is suggested that due to lack of driving experience and natural factors, teenagers are not able to drive properly.
Already, restrictions have been imposed on teenage driving during the night time. (The right 1) These rules have not been sufficient to stop the death of teenagers because they are involved in accidents during the hours that are permitted for teenage driving. (The right 1) Therefore, there is a need for further modifications in the driving rules in order to control the driving behavior of teenagers. There is a need to find permanent solution to the problem of increased number of accidents that take place due to teenage driving.
Research has showed that teenagers at the age of 16 years do not have the capacity to handle the requirements of driving. (The right 1) On the other hand, drivers at the age of 17 years have showed greater maturity. This is because at a younger age, teenagers do not have the natural ability to manage their emotions leading to their impulsive behavior. (The right 1) Above details have proved that drivers at the age of 16 years commit great number of driving errors compared to drivers at the age of 20 years.
Generally, it is assumed that alcohol consumption is the major cause for accidents, but interestingly, alcohol consumption is not the major cause of fatal accidents since only 13 percent of alcoholic drivers have participated in serious accidents. (The right 1) The government has given greater importance to control the driving behavior of alcoholics. (The right 1) On the other hand, it is also important to control the teenage driving behavior. Another method of reducing accidents by teenagers is to give them training, which are expensive and all teenagers cannot afford such training sessions.
(The right 1) Therefore, it can be suggested there is a need to enhance the minimum driving age so as to protect the lives of teenagers. Realizing the problems associated with the current minimum driving age, one Illinois legislature member attempted to introduce a bill in order to increase the minimum driving age to 17 years. (Harlan 1) This bill was introduced due to the fact that “drivers under the age of 18 are involved in much higher percentage of actually even fatal crashes”.
This implies that drivers who are less than 18 years have been responsible for large numbers of accidents. Some people suggest that parental supervision hours can be increased. (Harlan1) This is not the permanent solution to the problem of accident deaths. Parents also need to realize that such legislations can ensure the lives of their children. Already, it has been proved that teenagers lack the ability to manage the demands of driving. This has affected not only the teenagers but also other mature drivers.
This is because other drivers are inspired to compete with the teenage drivers with a view to dominate them. Therefore, there is a need to introduce legislation enhancing the minimum driving age. In Illinois there is opposition to the introduction of this legislation. (Harlan 1) Those who oppose this legislation need to study the statistics pertaining to the contribution of teenage drivers to the numbers of accidents that happen in the US everyday. In spite of large numbers of accidents, parents do not seem to bother about their children’s safety.
Parents are yet to realize that their children are incapable of handling four wheelers including SUVs. (Shaffer 1) Since the parents have not expressed their desire to increase the minimum driving age, the state governments need to take measures to increase the driving age to at least 18 years so that lives of large numbers of teenage drivers are protected. It is true that children enjoy driving automobiles including cars. The above details show the need to increase the driving age to minimum 18 years.
Even the driving school managers and trainers have accepted that there is problem with the present system of allowing teenagers to occupy the driving seat. It is important to save the lives of millions of teenage drivers who sit behind the wheel. (Harlan 1) The government has been showing its reluctance to control the driving behavior of teenagers. (Mnandel 8) Parents obviously lack knowledge regarding the importance of giving better education to their children in the art of driving. (Mnadel 8) Statistics proves that teenage people are prone to accidents.
Everyone is aware of the ‘joy’ that driving can bring to them. (Mnandel 8) At the same time, it is also important to remind the people regarding the responsibilities. It is the duty of every driver to improve ones’ driving capabilities. Unlike computer games, driving is real and it is not easy to drive particularly in the suburban roads. Therefore, attempt should be made to take all precautions so as to avoid the death of large numbers of people. In the year 2005, 43,200 people died due to car crashes and thousands of people got injured. (Mnadel, 8)
It is found that “car crashes accounted for an astounding 40 percent of deaths among U. S. kids ages 16 to 19, or 5000 corpses. ” (Mnadel, 8) Such car crashes have contributed to increased medical and other costs to the government and the people. (Mnandel 8) It is possible to avoid heavy human and material casualty. This shows that there is an immediate need for introducing effective changes in the driving age. Many teenage drivers are suffering health problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is found that “about 4.
4 million children ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD”. (Toto B01) Before giving license to such teenage people, the government authorities need to ensure that applicants do not suffer from major physical and psychological health problems. Due to inability of ADHD teenage drivers to concentrate, they have been responsible for several accidents. (Toto B01) Although medication is available to control ADHD, on some occasions, teenagers may forget to consume medicines. (Toto B01) This may lead to fatal accidents and even death.
Therefore, the parents should not encourage their children, who suffer from ADHD, to use their cars. (Toto B01) The present driving age has been responsible for the increased numbers of accidents on the US roads. An important method of avoiding such crashes is to change the minimum driving age so that it is possible to save the lives of several teenage drivers. To conclude, the government policy of minimum driving age of 16 years has been responsible for the involvement of many teenage drivers in several fatal accidents. Statistics prove that teenage drivers are not able to show maturity while driving.
Teenage drivers use cars for their enjoyment and forget to discharge their duty of concentrating on driving. This has compelled at least one state government to introduce legislation increasing the minimum driving age. It is high time that the government introduces changes in the driving age. Works Cited Harlan, Rachael. “Driving Age Change? ”. Northwestern News Network. February 8, 2006. Available Online. April 22, 2007. http://www. nnntv. org/viewstory. php? story_id_key=776 Last Updated March 1, 2006. Kelly, K. “Wreckless Teens”. US News & World Report. 132.
11(2002): 48. Mnadel, D. “A Shout Out: Help Stop the Carnage”. Autoweek. 56. 34(2006): 8. Shaffer, Ron. “Driving Age Should Be Raised to 18. ”Washingtonpost. com. November 4, 2004. Available Online. April 22, 2007. http://www. washingtonpost. com/wp- dyn/articles/A17720-2004Nov2_4. html “The Right Driving Age”. The Boston Globe. January 12, 2006. Available Online. April 22, 2007. http://www. boston. com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2006/01/12/the_r ight_driving_age? mode=PF Toto, C. “TEENS at the WHEEL with ADHD. ” The Washington Times. (DC) : B01.