16 Year Olds and Driving Permits Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of death among teenagers in the United States. A question among many debaters is if teens should be allowed to drive at the age of 16, what about if it affects the driver to drive with other teens, also if it affects the driver to be driving at night. I will list the positives and negatives of these the questions, and you, the reader, may choose your side. In 1998, 38% of deaths from all causes among teens 15 to 19 years of age resulted from motor vehicle crashes. (1) At age 16, a driver is 2. 7 times more like to get in a crash than a driver at age 18, and is 3. times more likely than 19 year olds.
The question greatly debated among many people is whether or not the driving age should be raised from 16 to 18. Many polls and statistics show that American favor raising the driving age. A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll has found that nearly two-thirds (61%) say they think a 16-year-old is too young to have a driver’s license. Only 37% of those who polled thought it was okay to license 16 year olds. The same poll was done in 1995 and the result was that 50% of Americans thought it was okay to license 16 year olds. This means that many Americans have lost respect of teen drivers.
A poll of 1,002 adults, conducted December 17-19, 2004, stated that 53% of adults favor raising the minimum driving age to 18. Most people state that there are a lot of immature drivers out on the road, but there are also many mature drivers who are capable of handling the task of driving at the age of 16. In the early 1900’s America began to mass produce the new invention called the car. There were no laws about the minimum age of driving until 1939 when the government required that the minimum age to drive be 18. In 1957, America began to run a license system that allowed for a person to require a learner’s permit at the age of 15.
The student was required to wait one year to obtain his driving permit. So the minimum age a person could attain his license was at age 16. If someone acquired their license at age 21 or older, there was no waiting period to attain a driver’s permit. This system worked well at first because students were more mature; therefore better drivers back then. Adults agreed that they were satisfied with the current rules and restrictions of someone attaining their driver’s license. But in the early 1990’s teens began to get in an overwhelming amount of car crashes.
The government debated on an answer to the problem for about 3 years, and this was their solution. All states in America now follow a law called, Graduated Driver Licensing. Florida in 1996 became the first state to initiate Graduated Driver Licensing. This is a system designed to phase in young drivers to full driving privileges as they become more mature and develop their driving skills.
There are 3 stages to a graduated system: a supervised learner’s period (age 15); an intermediate license (age 16) that limits driving in high-risk situations except under supervision; and then a license with full privileges (age 16. , but depends on the state), available after completing the first 2 stages. Statistics show the best Graduated Driver Licensing systems include a learner’s stage beginning at age 16 and lasting at least 6 months, 30 or more hours of supervised driving, plus restrictions on unsupervised night driving and passengers during the first 6 to 12 months of licensure. In my preference nighttime driving restriction should start at 9 p. m. , and no more than 1 teen passenger should be allowed any time of day.
No state currently meets or exceeds all of these requirements, but most states do impose some of these requirements. Some states add other requirements including belt use provisions, cell phone use restrictions, penalty systems so that violations result in license suspension or extension of the holding period, and driver education. A survey conducted in 2004 showed that states that followed at least 1 of these restrictions had an 18. 4% decrease of wrecks among teen drivers. Also, studies in American states that have adopted elements of graduated licensing have found crash reductions of about 10-30 percent. 3,4,5)
So if America adopted the laws of Gradual Drivers Licensing, we would see the national average of fatal teen wrecks drop a nationwide average of 10-30%. Many adults agree that the Graduated Licensing System greatly reduces the amount of wrecks among teens. Another question about teens driving is whether or not the teen driver should be allowed to carry teen passenger. A simpler way to ask the question is this, will it affect the teen driver if he or she rides with other teen passengers. The crash risk for teenage drivers greatly increases with 1, 2, 3, or more passengers.
With 3 or more, fatal crash risk is about 3 times higher than when a beginner is driving alone. (6) The presence of passengers is a major contributor to the teenage death toll debaters say. (7) About two-thirds of all crash deaths of teens that involve 16-year-old drivers occur when the beginners were driving with other teen passengers. Studies indicate that passenger restrictions can reduce this problem. (8) People are unsure why teens are more likely to get in a crash while they are riding with other teens, but in my personal opinion I think this happens because teens will make less mature driving moves when riding with other teens.
These surveys all show that when teens drive with other teens they have a much greater chance of getting in a crash than those who drive alone. Therefore, America should not allow for teens to drive with other teens until they are at age 21. Should teens be allowed to drive at all hours of day? Many people say that driving at night will not affect the chance of which a crash may occur. Driving at night is one of the most challenging times to drive. Visibility is reduced, glaring headlights of oncoming cars, and less aware drivers are a few of the factors that occur while driving at night.
At any age while driving at night, you are approximately 30-40 TIMES more likely to get in a crash than driving in daylight hours. A study in North Carolina showed that the time of highest risk for teens to drive was between 9 p. m. and midnight. As a result of the study, the North Carolina legislature included a nighttime driving restriction from 9 p. m. to 5 a. m. in their graduated licensing law. The next year, North Carolina had a 27% drop in teen related deaths in result of the law. Twenty-eight states have adapted similar restrictions, although the times vary.
Four of every 10 deaths of teens in motor vehicles accidents occur between 9 p. m. and 6 a. m.. (5) If these night restriction laws were applied, we would see a hefty drop in teen related driving deaths at night. But what would happen if you have a night shift and you are not allowed to drive at night, how would you live with this law? You would have to get a parent or guardian to drive you to and from work every night, develop a new means of transportation, or you would have to quit your job. This law would create huge problems for the person! The government should allow 16 year olds with a job between the hours 9p. . and 6a. m. to drive between these hours. How would this be enforced you ask?
The government could provide badges or a special stamp or sign on your driver’s license as a source of identification for those who have a night shift or have a special reason for a night license. Many people say that it is too easy to get one’s license. Because of the low requirements to get a license, drivers are becoming less and less knowledgeable on rules of the road and losing much of their needed driving skills. For someone in the state of Florida at the age of 15 to get a learner’s permit, all that is required is this.
One must take a 4 hour Drug and Alcohol test, and take an exam which requires less than 5 hours of studying sources say. To get your driver’s license, one must take a test involving a hearing and eye exam, answering 20 multiple choice questions on road signs, 20 multiple choice question on road rules, and finally taking a driver’s test which involves having a valid tag, proof of insurance, and pass a vehicle inspection. During the driving test, the examiner will observe your ability to control the vehicle and how well you obey traffic laws.
The only time one is required to drive under a teacher is when one takes the test for getting a driver’s permit. This means that the driver who attains his learner’s permit at age 15 will have to wait 1 year before he or she gets to drive under the eye of an experienced driver. This is one of the reasons that young drivers are so inexperienced. The government should make it a law that at age 15, one must take an exam, one that actually requires the student to drive a car, to see if he or she qualifies to have a learner’s permit.
If the student fails the exam, they should have a program that teaches students car driving techniques and skills. After a few classes, let’s say 5, the student should be allowed to re-take the exam. If the student passes, he gets his learners permit, but if the student fails the exam, he should be required to take 5 more classes on driving skills before taking the exam again. This would make drivers more experienced, therefore making the road safer. Also, when one goes to obtain his driver’s license, the test should be more difficult.
With additional questions on what to do in case you hydroplane, how to drive in sand or mud, or how to drive in snow and ice. Basic questions like the ones previously listed that will teach students a wider range of driving skills making young drivers more experienced before they even get to drive on the road. But statistics show that the best experience, no matter how large an amount of driver education is given, the best experience is the one that takes place behind the wheel of an actual car. (10, 11) The system of acquiring and obtaining licenses is currently working pretty well.
Since enacting Graduated Driver Licensing, we have seen a 10-30% drop in annual teen driving related deaths. What needs to be done currently to make teen drivers even safer, is we need to make tests and exams for acquiring licenses much tougher. Doing this will make drivers more knowledgeable of road signs and driving techniques. Drivers should also have to take classes which give the driver firsthand experience behind the wheel. This will make drivers more skilled by the time they get out into the real driving world.
The main question of this paper was if the driving age of acquiring a driver’s license should be raised to 18. Almost all of the statistics I have found show that at age 16, you are more likely to get in a wreck than at age 18. At age 16, a driver is 2. 7 times more like to get in a crash than a driver at age 18, and is 3. 9 times more likely than 19 year olds. (2) I think that the minimum age to drive should be raised to 18. This would greatly lower the chance of wrecks among teens. This would be great for all drivers, but there are still a few people who never get in a wreck.
This would be unfair to those people who are great drivers. If the government proposed that the minimum age to drive be 18, they should have a test and an exam that can be taken at 16. But the test should be very hard. This would limit the amount of drivers that are on the road, but the few would be very good drivers. It would be very difficult for the government to set up a law system for this. But if the government did propose that the minimum age to drive be 18. It would probably be best if the government did not allow for anyone under 18 to drive at all.