Let’s change the driving age to 18!

September 29th, 2008

I was a horrible driver when I was 16.

Looking back I’m grateful that I never got in, or caused, a serious accident. I easily could have because I ALWAYS accelerated too fast, tried to beat read lights, ignored stop signs and wouldn’t even let other drivers change lanes in front of me.

In my mind, the road was MINE and I was going to beat the pants off everyone who challenged me. The fact is, the only people actually challenging me were other 16-year-olds.

Of course I never thought about the possibility of getting in an accident. I was too good of a driver for that and knew I could avoid any collisions (not counting the half dozen or so parked cars I hit back then.)

Now that I’ve grown up a little, I can respect the freedoms teenagers need. But I now believe driving shouldn’t be among them. Kids are too cocky and feel too indestructible to trust them behind the wheel of 3,000 pounds of steel.

That’s why I would love to see this country adopt a nationwide 18-year-old driving age.

At first I thought 21 would be an ideal age, but then talked myself out of it because nothing good can come from a kid being able to legally drink AND legally drive on the same day.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the crash rate per mile driven is twice as high for 16 year-olds as it is for 18-19 year-olds. And most of the fatalities are single-car accidents caused by driving errors or speeding.

Sixteen is simply too young to shoulder the responsibility of driving safely and too often results in death. Two years of maturity will save a lot lives.

Even with all this being said, America is a car-loving nation. Citizens may not embrace this change because it would mean driving their kids around for a few more years. 

What do you think: Would you support a nationwide change to make the driving age 18?

-tgriffith

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  1. October 21st, 2014 at 18:03 | #1

    i think it should because teens these days aren’t responsible and get distracted and just because you drive doesn’t mean your cool and that its a special thing given to you

  2. marcus
    November 29th, 2012 at 11:13 | #2

    I think its stupid to change the driving age to 18. It should remain the same.

  3. lily
    April 25th, 2012 at 21:48 | #3

    I think that age doesn’t matter, it has to do with driving experience… idk just my thought…

  4. epic
    March 2nd, 2012 at 14:09 | #4

    Think about all the things that teenagers use cars for like driving to school or more importantly work. They need to be able to use cars or you can expect teens to bug their parents more for rides. If thats whats you want then go ahead. But the rest of us are fine with the way it is!!!

  5. sam
    February 8th, 2012 at 17:15 | #5

    alllll you people that are wanting to change the law you guys have to put yourselfs in other peoples shoes. my family is poor and i got 2 more years tell i can drive and when i get older im gunna drive to work everyday to support my family, and if you guys do thisto me and my family we will be hurting. you guys may have money but not everyone in this world dose. and if you dont thik that 16 year olds should be driven then dont get your kids there lisens and then they wont have any thing happen to them and then you guys can drive them every were. Im just trying to say is jt plzz put your selfs in other peoples shoes and dont do this. but you got to have trust in your kids , and what about the kids that are good drivers your just going to ruen it for them and weres the credit for them kids.

  6. jjhhj
    January 25th, 2012 at 15:04 | #6

    the only reason 18 year olds are better drivers now is because they have the experiance from when they were 16. if we changed the driving age to 18 than the 18 year olds would be just as bad as the 16 year old now.

  7. evan
    April 23rd, 2011 at 21:16 | #7

    wow are you tryin to piss us of. if you change the law to 18 its going to be the same if not worse,because we need jobs and we have to go to collage.on the topic of collage if you have kids go to collage in a big city and not have any driving experenice.if you change the law the people who do it should wait 18 years to get their licenes back

  8. carvel
    October 6th, 2010 at 18:31 | #8

    wat the hell who chose this gay fag law I hate any1 who likes this

  9. February 3rd, 2010 at 14:13 | #9

    Out here the question is should the age be raised from 15years and maybe some horsepower/modification restrictions as currently there are none

  10. Poney
    February 3rd, 2010 at 00:48 | #10

    @zerrath
    HUH?..make the test harder?. did you try the test as of late? It has nothing to do with the test.

  11. Poney
    February 3rd, 2010 at 00:44 | #11

    Thats too bad you were a bad driver at 16!!..I on the other hand was a great driver at 16. i DO remember sucking at math..mabe you were good at math? Man is ever a dumb blog, it’s really gay. Raise the age to 18? why not 21..or mabe 30?..get a grip. I have seen retard drivers that were in there mid-life for gods sake..either ya got it or ya dont!

  12. zerrath
    January 2nd, 2010 at 07:57 | #12

    The drug that caused problems for me in my teens was adrenaline.

  13. zerrath
    January 2nd, 2010 at 07:45 | #13

    Get rid of the drinking age law completely, its not really doing anything except increasing young peoples desire to drink. Keep the driving age at 16. Institute much tougher drivers license requirements, make the test hard. People who want to drive will learn enough to pass a test.

  14. Dalton
    January 1st, 2010 at 00:48 | #14

    Hi im 14 years old ,and im almost 15 I don’t think it should be raised because we need cars too go to work ,and get a job if it’s raised to 18 its not fair.I think they shouldn’t pass this law for a long time.We are the people I believe this is right No!!!! I believe the age should stay the same.Kids get in accident’s because they drink ,or drive before they go for their drivers license they should drug test them too make sure their being responsible.Also if the parent’s ever seen any drug’s in their child’s life they should say.

  15. Gabe Wrest
    November 3rd, 2009 at 19:03 | #15

    What you said was very well put, and I respect you for that. On the other hand, it’s one of the stupidest thing I have ever read.

  16. sean
    August 20th, 2009 at 13:50 | #16

    the reason for this the crash rates are that the 18-19 year olds have more experiance behind a wheel if you give an eighteen year old a new licens they will have the same inexperiance as the sixteen year old
    im 15 and i know this ppl

  17. July 25th, 2009 at 03:02 | #17

    In my opinion people shouldn’t categorize all 16 yr olds as reckless drivers. There are more responsible 16 yr olds than adults. Everyday there are adults caught driving drunk and/or under the influence of drugs.
    In actuality there is no reason for the changing of age on being able to drive. Nobody’s perfect, adults have the same risk of causing an accident as a sixteen yr old. So what you are going to band sixteen year olds and not adults. In my humble opinion, a good way to keep crime, or accidents down is for adults to set a better example for this generation. I wouldn’t call taking your clothes off in front of a camera for money a good example. I would have to say out of my experiences growing up in a good stable non alcholic, drug-free environment, without my parents fighting every two seconds is a very good example for me.

    thanks for your time,
    Tyler

  18. not in agree!!
    June 14th, 2009 at 13:07 | #18

    This is NOT agood idea! Ya there are kids who are just total idiots and they do NOT drive safely. But there are alot of 16 year olds that DO know how to drive and are good drivers. They don’t drive fast or put other people in risk. You should not let them just take kids licences away! Most 16 year olds are getting jobs, and need a ride and their parents can’t do that. You would make all those parents lives 10x harder! If the law was changed to 18 years old to drive, some kids already have moved out early, at 17. Or just waning to move at 18. They can’t move and be by themselves but NOT have a car to drive! And i know I said 18 and the law would be 18 years old, but I meant if you moved out at the age 18, you wouldn’t have parents being able to kind of watch how you drive alittle bit. And some kids that are 16 and seventeen are drunk when they drive. So the age 18 is alot closer to the age 21, which you can start to drink. So could you imagine how many more people would be found drunk driving!? I’m sure ALOT more. And to take the privalage of driving away from people who have or just recieved there licences, away till their 18? You would make so many lives unhappy. I think this law would NOT be good AT ALL for our state. We just need to make sure to keep a better eye on our surroundings. And make sure that the kids who do not recpect the privalage to drive at the age of 16, get their licence suspended. And P.S.(That would ruin my life if I had to wait anyy longer to get my licence!)

  19. 18 to drive
    May 20th, 2009 at 11:44 | #19

    suzy, you may die if you don’t wait@suzy

  20. 18 to drive
    May 20th, 2009 at 11:40 | #20

    The driving age should be changed to 18, at least. Most kids today look forward to being able to drive and feel strongly against it because that’s the way it’s been for so long. Wha! Boo Hoo! I am sick and tired of seeing these punks drive on the same road I am, most of them are on the phone, oblivious to what’s happening on the road. Just yesterday I was almost hit by a girl doing her makeup, she seemed to be about 16 or 17. In reply to some of the teens, how do you know for sure that you haven’t broken any laws while driving? Are you that much of an authority on the driving laws to know? You probably passed a test of 20 questions that anyone with half a brain could pass. I have driven in many different countries, including the americas, europe and the middle east. The worst of the younger drivers are here. In Europe you have to be 18, the course is 3 months from 8 am to 4 pm. Once you finish the course and you have your license, you are on probation for 2 years. any minor infraction and you have to take the course over again, and pay a ticket. This includes talking on the phone while driving (automatic 6 months loss of driving privileges regardless of age) more serious infractions have the license revoked. After that when you get the license back you are on probation for 4 years. In this training you are taught what to do in case of emergencies, how to drive in different driving conditions, minor automotive knowledge and they go more in depth about the driving laws. In total they spend about $2500 to get the license. If you fail the class you have to take it again. So, first, the kids pay attention to the class, they learn what to do and the laws. They guard their driving privileges like it was gold and they are in way fewer wrecks than they are here in the states. If teens had to go though all that to get a license, I am quite sure the quality of drivers would get better and the death toll would go down. It’s not just about drinking and driving, resourceful kids can get booze if they want, unfortunately. Some of these deaths are mainly attributed to immaturity carelessness and lack of experience before they are set out on the streets. This is an issue that should be pressed and passed into law. Sorry teens, you just don’t see the whole picture just yet, you may seem to think it’s unfair… stomp your feet complain and cry me a river, at least you and possibly someone else will wake up tomorrow.

  21. framma
    April 26th, 2009 at 11:52 | #21

    I agree the driving age should be changed, and the reasons it is not have more to do with the romance of the automobile, the lack of other transportation options in many areas of this very large country, and maybe economic pressures as well. In addition, driving is a lot of fun, so no one would willingly give up that right. There are actually sophisticated studies of brain development (using neuroimaging – e.g. by Judy Rappaport, M.D., and colleagues, at the NIMH) that show that maturation of the areas of the brain responsible for attention, impulse control, and presumably judgment, to adult levels, really only happens by 21 years of age or thereabouts. Doing some ‘stupid’ things when one is in the middle of their teenage years just comes with the territory. Every age has its abilities and limits. For example, we don’t let toddlers eat with steak knives. Now the only remaining thing to be honest about is that sometimes, Grandma and Grandpa shouldn’t be driving either, and they are rarely asked to provide proof that they still can.

  22. Jon
    April 21st, 2009 at 21:40 | #22

    @Ashley
    There are young drivers out there that don’t drive dangerously, but that alone is not enough. It’s better to fit the majority than the individual. It is a shame that younger drivers, like myself, would get our licenses taken away, but better to get my driver’s license removed but save lives.

  23. suzy
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:37 | #23

    @kid

    i know i will die i cant wait til 18

  24. suzy
    March 15th, 2009 at 11:36 | #24

    kids should be able to drive at 16 because they cant get drunk because they cant buy alcohol so they should be able to drive at 16 and not change the age thats not fair! so dont chnage it its not a good idea

  25. kid
    March 6th, 2009 at 17:10 | #25

    I think that this is the stupidist thing i have ever heard in my whole lifee im going to die if they raise the age in so close!

  26. Leif
    February 18th, 2009 at 20:35 | #26

    The driving age is fine the way it is. I got my job last year at a car dealership when I was 16 and I wouldn’t be able to do my job if i didn’t have my license. Young drivers are not the problem, I see old people driving dangerously all the time. They cut corners and and don’t signal when lane changing quite often that I’ve seen. I’m not irresponsible and I’m sick of young people having a bad name as drivers just because of a few bad examples.

  27. Ashley
    February 18th, 2009 at 09:19 | #27

    I’m 16 and just got my license. I don’t break the law, drive resklessly or put other prople in danger. I think that people should be more aware of what kids are doing on and off the roads before they recieve their license. I get your point, but I would hate to think that I would not have gotten my license at 16 just because some irrespossible teenagers couldn’t get overthemselves.

  28. Chris Z.
    February 8th, 2009 at 20:08 | #28

    There are so many precedents for a driving age of 18 that there is no reason why it wouldn’t work logistically. I however am in favor of the graduated license program.

  29. Josh
    February 7th, 2009 at 18:27 | #29

    Not all children should be on the road, but don’t keep all of them from this privlage. This privlage and responsability should be judged by the parents as to wheather lil’ Billy is allowed behind the wheel or not. Unfortunatly, parents don’t seem to bother with this judgement and just follow the age limit. This freedom was a godsend to me twelve years ago and to deny others this opprotunity would be a travisty. If anything should be done, it should be driving requirements. Licences shouldn’t be issued out like a vending machine.

  30. Betty
    November 3rd, 2008 at 12:29 | #30

    I think we should try something totally different, like you said raising the driving age to 21 would not be good because that is the same day you are allowed to drink. but what if we raised the driving age to 20 or 21 and lowered the drinking age to 18. It would be harder for underage kids to get alcohol, and less d.u.i’s because most of the kids could not drive while under the influence because they do not have their license.

  31. Steffi
    October 20th, 2008 at 21:02 | #31

    I believe that you are a very smart individual and that the driving age should be changed to 18 years of age. These kids (I being one myself) are way to young to drive because we are not mature enough to handle these massive contraptions that we call cars. There are to many kids dying in recent years then there were a few years ago. Especially when they drive in those really big cars. I myself do not have a license and am not planning on getting one until I am 18 but I still agree with you.

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