Should it be increased?

Does the driving age needs to increase?


Dev Mehta

Teenage driver getting distracted by his phone and texting his friends.

Dev Mehta, Podcast Editor

As a 15 year old, a young teenager can get their learner’s permit in the state of Nebraska, and learn driving, then in the future to earn a school permit (SCP). But there is an issue with teens learning to drive this early: the increased amount of accidents that are caused by these young drivers.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute in 2017, a total of 2,734 teenagers died in a motor vehicle crashes in 2017, which is 4% less than from the prior year. It would take 164 more school shootings as the one happened at Stoneman Douglas High School to match up the annual carnage caused by teenage drivers. Even though the death of teenage drivers has been reduced by 4% for one year doesn’t mean that they are getting better driving. There could be any factor they could play a role in the decrease of deaths.  

On average, nine teens die every day from motor vehicle injuries. That would mean every week 63 teen drivers die, so in one month 270 teens die every day, so in a year there would be 3,285 teen drivers would be dead and that would mean the deaths of teen drivers would not go down if the driving age is not increased. The death of teen drives will only go up each year for one reason and that would be more high school kids are getting their license and cars to drive.

There is about 56% of teenage deaths involve the driver, and the 44% are the passenger in the car. Letting high school student drive is putting them at danger and the other bystanders at risk too.

Raising the age to buy a rifle to 21 might or might not prevent a school shooting, but raising the legal driving age will save a lot of teenagers deaths and save millions from car wreck injuries.

There are other countries out there who believe 16 is too young of an age to earn a driver’s license. Switzerland who has one of the lowest cars crashes rates in the whole continent of Europe makes the young wait till they are 18 years of age. If a country like Switzerland has their age at 18 even the fact they have the lowest rate of accident, then why can’t the US raise their driving age even though it has a high amount of accident rate.

Raising driving is unlikely to win a prize from the teens, even it is manifested to their better life and safe future. But if they let the adults make the decision it would be in their best interest and will improve their safety and reduce the odds of premature deaths.