Cars and More
Raising the Driving Age
February 1, 2009
Last year in mid-July when my brother and I were on our way home from Surrey, a teenage boy about sixteen or seventeen honked and cut right in front of my brother’s 1992 Honda. The driver and his friends screamed and laughed as he crossed the red light on a four-way intersection at a speed of maybe eighty-kilometers in a sixty-kilometer zone. After seeing this scene, I said to myself that the legal driving age should raise to nineteen instead of sixteen. But do you agree?
In my opinion, it should because teenagers have careless driving habits. When some are driving, they do not think about possible danger ahead of them; instead, they play around on the road as though they were in a playground. An example of that is what I said about the driver who cut in front of my brother. What if my brother was an aggressive teenager like him, what could happen? He would cut in front of him, too, and that could lead to hitting each other’s car, which could lead to a dangerous accident.
Sixteen year-old drivers cause more accidents. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14 percent of all car accident-related fatalities are caused by fifteen to eighteen year-old drivers, and they make up only about seven percent of the driving population.
Another reason the legal driving age should go up is the sixteen year olds try to do other things while driving--like talking on phone, or reading or sending text messages. According to research on 1 000 sixteen and seventeen year-old drivers by AAA and Seventeen Magazine, “46 percent admit that “they text while driving and 51 percent say they talk on cell phone when driving."
Furthermore, sixteen year olds are likely to be distracted, especially when they have passengers their age. The passengers fight and shout at each other in the back or shout out to tell the driver that a sexy guy or girl is passing by and the driver would want to tell them to stop yelling and fighting at the back or try to see the sexy guy or girl, others are talking about. If the driver is concentrating on what they say or do rather than on the road, then the chance of crashing into another car or driving off the road is greatly possible.
However, they could drive, but only on certain conditions--like being under adult’s supervision and not having teenage friends in car with them.
I know some parents might disagree with the driving age extension to nineteen years-old idea because they would have to drive their kids anywhere they want to go, but is that more important than their child’s life? If children have an accident, parents can repair or replace their car. But can you repair or replace a life?
If I were to vote on driving age, I would vote for extension to nineteen years-old because they are more responsible, more thoughtful and aware of motor vehicle dangers than those below nineteen. The nineteen year-olds might like to show off, but in a logical, contemplative way; in a safer way not only could teenagers be safe but also the passengers and other road users.