The Issue of the Legal Driving Age in Britain and the Positive Outcome of Restricting the Drivers' Age on the Roads

Teens have a reputation of dangerous behaviours and risk taking, such as knife crime, development of gang culture, and the mischief they get up to when under the influence of alcohol- fighting, upset to the community, or spending the night in a cell. This essay shall  discuss the issue of the legal age permitting a person to drive on the roads in Britain, hopefully showing you the positive consequence of restricting the age of drivers on our roads.

The legal driving age should be raised to 21.

This would be beneficial for several reasons. Teens are more likely to engage in dangerous behaviours and even worse they are less likely to adjust this behaviour. The driving age group with the highest death rates for drivers is 17 Nearly 12% of people who are hurt or killed in a car accident are involved in a crash with drivers aged between 17 and 19. However, 17 to 19-year-olds only make up 1.5% of the total number of licensed drivers. There has been suggestion that new drivers should have to have a 12-month probationary period with rules restricting what they could and couldn’t do on the road.

If the legal driving age was increased to 21 this would help reduce the number of unnecessary deaths we see on our roads each year. If we don’t allow irresponsible young teenagers to hold a driving licence surely this will make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. If we do allow teenagers to hold a driving license sure everything could be fine, but it could be you or a member of your family that is involved in a collision with them that could end with fatal consequences. Some people may argue this is being restrictive to the jobs that people can obtain. Even though people who drive as part of their job are more likely to take care on the roads. Traffic accidents are the number one killer of teenagers. Research shows that teenagers will under estimate hazardous driving conditions.

Today there are many young teenage drivers who are very careful. If we take irresponsible

teen drivers off the roads, our roads would be a lot safer for careful drivers and pedestrians alike. Irresponsible drivers could cause road traffic incidents or accidents and walk away not being impacted. That said we do have some very responsible teenage drivers but surveys show that 2 out of 3 teenagers are more likely to take risks on the road. Research shows that they underestimate hazardous driving situations and they are less able than older drives to recognize dangerous situations. Such as Bad weather like rain, snow, and fog can increase risks for young drivers. Teenagers aren’t aware of the need to increase stopping distance or reduce their speed in bad weather. They are less likely to wear seatbelts .They are more likely to be distracted by passengers and peer pressure from teenage passengers to drive faster. They are more likely to try answering a phone which is a major distraction.

The AA motoring trust research shows that young driver deaths stood at 151 by 2004. The statistics show that there has been a continual rise in teenage driver deaths since 2011. In fact 27% of teenage male drivers are involved in a crash within the first year of holding their licence. However, without a license teenagers would have to use public transport, there are around 800,000 18 year olds in the UK. If you think about this logically these youths would need alternative modes of transport i.e. buses or trains this means a lot more money is going into the economy.

Some people would argue that this is stripping them of their freedom, like any other law it would be in place for a reason. However people at this age can be working or studying at university or college. Public transport is better than ever before. An example would be in London. They have one of the best transport networks in the world today. We hear time and time again “public transport is unreliable” this is not a valid excuse. Every system has its faults and flaws just the same as your car could have. Using public transport works out cheaper on a yearly basis against the costs involved in running and maintaining a car; like

insurance which costs a lot more when you fall into the category of under 25 years. Sometimes this can be as high as £1200 and that’s before you pay anything else for a car. If you think sensibly a car is a luxury for some, but it’s not a necessity teenagers can get by without one.

Finally, having the starting age for driving at 21, through changes in the law, would have benefits for society. We should see a change in statistics of death by driving. Young people would not be pressured into debt at a young age by the purchasing, insuring and maintenance of a car. However there is the counter argument of restricting the freedom of liberty of young people in their life choices such as in education and in employment. Putting this aside, having people driving at young age is very topical due to the consequences of actions while driving.

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The Issue of the Legal Driving Age in Britain and the Positive Outcome of Restricting the Drivers' Age on the Roads. (2022, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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