Raising the Legal Driving Age Essay

Words: 1621
Pages: 7

For many teenagers obtaining their driver’s license is the first initial step of becoming an adult. Many political and public figures question the ability to drive legally at age 16; in some states even younger. There are many reasons why many individuals question the legal driving age such as how will impact society? If the legal driving age in the United States is raised to 18 will there be a decrease of accidents? In the United States most states allow teenagers to have a learner’s permit and a driver’s license at age 16. Rising the legal driving age would cut down on car accidents and associated damages, cut down on teen deaths from traffic accidents and allow for teens to gain more experience before driving on their own.
Let’s take
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In fact New Jersey has introduced laws that require any driver under the age of 21 to have special colored decals on their license plates that designate them as teen drivers.
A bill called the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP Act) was introduced in 2009 into the U.S. House of Representatives (SafeRoads, 2009). The STANDUP Act is designed to require all states to have a uniform full legal driving age of 18, using graduated driver licensing (GDL) system requirements. As of now, all states except North Dakota have some form of GDL laws according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) but only seven states have a full licensing age of 18 (GHSA, 2010). It is good that some states have already realized the value of increasing their driving age but there are still nine states where driving can begin before age 15. It’s almost unbelievable to think that there are states allowing kids that are barely out of middle school, possibly still in middle school to be out driving. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) reports a 20% decrease in fatal crashes among 16 year olds in states that have GDL requirements in place already (RMIIA, 2010). The GDL’s also limit the number of passengers allowed in the car with a teen driver and restrictions on nighttime driving.
The biggest opponents of these measures seem