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?