Raising the Legal Driving Age

1629 Words Dec 2nd, 2012 7 Pages
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.
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That $34 billion is money that could be saved or put to better use, especially in the present economy. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens (CDC, 2010), which just by itself certainly does give merit to raising the legal driving age. In most states the age to get a driver’s license is 16 but in some states the age is lower, including South Dakota where learner’s permits are given at age 14. Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that highest crash rate per age is for 16 year olds and crash rates for drivers 16-19 years old are four times higher than older drivers (IIHS, 2010). The study from the IIHS shows that the numbers of teen deaths from driving have dropped significantly in the last few years, and it is no coincidence that these numbers have fallen as more states have begun to implement GDL restrictions.
Reducing the numbers of teen drivers would in turn decrease the number of teen drivers killed. The number one cause of death for teens, according to the CDC, is car accidents. One third of all teen deaths in the country are caused by vehicle crashes (CDC, 2010). New Jersey is currently the state with the highest legal driving age and one of seven that removes all restrictions at 18, and is shown through different studies to have the lowest number of teen driving deaths compared to other states (CBS/AP, 2008). New Jersey comes
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