Normalize teen drivers

Today people as young as 15 can now begin driving on public roadways.


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Beginning the journey to adulthood teenagers as young as 15 are taking their first steps towards driving on their own.

Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter

As a teenager, I can say that many of us dream of one day getting behind the wheel of a car and traveling the world. It provides us with a sense of independence and signifies that we have reached adulthood. Driving allows us to experience the world,  but we must adhere to a set of rules in order to do so. Some teenagers believe these laws are fair and keep us safe, while others believe they restrict our driving freedoms. Driving is a privilege, not a luxury, and teens must demonstrate that they are responsible enough to drive on their own.

Teens must demonstrate to themselves that they can eliminate all distractions in order to be responsible enough to drive on the road. With today’s cell phones and new technology, distractions for new teen drivers are virtually limitless. Many of these distractions have been shown to be dangerous for many inexperienced drivers. According to, the official website of the United States for Distracted Driving, “ten percent of all drivers, 15 to 19 years old, involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.” Being focused while driving is a critical part to your safety and the safety of others.

Without a doubt, teenage drivers are extremely inexperienced when it comes to their first trips on the road because the only prior training for teens is either from their parents or driving courses. Parents and mentors are great teachers for the ways of the road. The influence of older drivers with more road experience teaching younger inexperienced drivers is a great benefit towards having safer road traffic. From personal experience, I know that driver’s education taught me the fundamentals of the road. Knowing what turns, stops, and right-of-ways gave me a feeling of security. 

However, for many teens driving doesn’t come naturally. Even after practicing for months in a car with their parents, teens tend to crack under pressure once they turn 16. CourseHero, an online learning platform, stated that “56%  of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive.” And taking that step towards driving by yourself causes pressure. Once the moment came when I had to drive on my own I felt more nervous than ever. With no one to look toward or ask for help, I felt a nervous rush of emotions. Like myself, many other teens’ driving abilities are put in jeopardy because of their newfound independence. 

Some people advocate that the legal driving age should be changed.  If this is the case, how high should the age be set? Will it truly save people’s lives? Many would argue that raising the legal driving age to eighteen would heavily reduce highway congestion, and save nearly 3,000 teen lives each year. Teenagers are often seen as too irresponsible to drive and have too much freedom, so raising the legal driving age to 18 is a possible solution.

Although raising the legal driving age to 18 would improve road safety, it would also eliminate the practice that teens receive at a younger age. Drivers who are not taught basic driving skills at a young age will lack experience when they’re older.  We benefit from the assistance we receive as teenagers, which is why it is critical to start teaching teens to drive at the age of 15. This would help create safer roads since teens are better prepared once they reach the legal driving age.

At some point in all of our lives, we have been put in the shoes of a teen driver. The unavoidable fact is that most drivers will begin as inexperienced teenagers. Teenagers must learn that driving is a privilege, not a luxury, and they must demonstrate that they are mature enough to drive on the road. Despite the fact that many people of this age are still developing the necessary skills to drive safely, it is pivotal that we teach people to drive at an early age so that we can have safer and more efficient roads.