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The Driving Age Should Be Raised

1825 words - 7 pages

Teens only make up seventeen percent of the population today, but almost twenty percent of fatal crashes are due to teenagers behind the wheel. Growing numbers suggest to change the driving age to eighteen and some even believe that changing it to twenty-one may save even more lives. With a sixteen year old behind the wheel, accidents are even more likely to occur when compared to a seventeen year old (Boulard). With so much new technology in today’s society there are more distractions on the road than ever before; therefore the legal driving age should be raised to save more lives. If we do not act quickly then more lives will be lost.
From when the first few cars where made teens have been behind the wheel. Many states did not require examinations or even licensing, it was not needed when so few distractions and other vehicles where on the road. Some states acquired licensing in the 1930's but Missouri was one of the first states in 1902. in the article “Driving Under Experienced” Gary Boulard explains, “It's a different world today than it was in the 1970's when many of the baby boomers first began to drive.” He goes on and states that lawmakers should revisit the procedures for how we give licenses to teens in our country (Boulard 38).
In the 1990's teens would get full licensing and all privileges with little of no testing at all. It wasn’t until 1995 when around twenty states required a learning permit but the system was still very weak, as in teens only had to keep their permit from two to three weeks. Bu somehow, teen drivers was not as dangerous as it is today. Experts say it is mostly because of deadly distractions in and out of the vehicle(Boulard 38).
In 2003 teenagers topped the charts with ten teenagers dying each day in a motor vehicle; that's over thirty-six hundred kids dying because of weak bendy laws that are meant to protect them. More than two thirds of that number is a single vehicle crash that happened over night, three fourths were male drivers.
If a teens at the wheel, crashes fit a pattern. Putting a sixteen year old male behind the wheel of a top heavy vehicle, adding two sixteen year old girls and one more male, subtract seat belts, and finally, let them travel fast; that's a common formula that almost always ends badly. “With in coming years a record 17.5 million teens will be eligible to drive once the peak of the 'Baby Boom-let' hits driving age by the end of this decade.” In 2000 there were 1.3 teen drivers, in a 2010 the number rose to 8.4 teenagers eligible(O’Donnell).
In a 2006 there was a new study done showing why teens have the highest crash rate that sky rockets above any other age group in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, the part of the brain that weighs risks, controls impulsive behavior, careless attitude, and rash emotions is underdeveloped until the age of twenty-one.
Jay Gieed, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatric unit at the National...

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