Driving at 16 is a Rite but Not a Safe Passage

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Receiving a driver’s license at 16 is a rite of passage. A passage many 16 year olds took before me. I received my license at 16. My parents often commented that I didn’t drive much. They stated that they were always somewhere with a car full of friends. I received my license at 16 because my parents thought I was mature enough to handle the responsibility. My older brother had to wait until he was 17 and my younger brother will probably be older than that, he’s a bit of a knucklehead. I think having a teen get a license is a personal decision a family should make. Car crashes have been and are the number one cause of death for teens. (1) Many feel that the development of their brain is not advanced enough to handle driving. Impulse control is the last thing to develop in the teen brain and doesn’t reach maturity until their early 20’s. Irresponsibility is also a problem with teens. The CDC states that teens are more likely to drive too fast, get distracted and underestimate hazards. This is especially true of males. (1) Each year, more than 5000 teenagers die in motor vehicle accidents. The rate of motor vehicle accidents, both nonfatal and fatal for 16 year olds is almost 10 times higher then drivers 30 to 59 according to the National Highway Safety Administration.(3) The risk of a car crash at 16 is higher than any other age. A 16 year old is three times more likely to die in a fatal crash than someone 20 years old. In 2010, males were two times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than females. Having others in the car, like friends, increased the risk and newly licensed teens had the highest risk of death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 71 percent of 16-19 year old occupants... ... middle of paper ... ...nse until the teen gets driving experience in conditions that are low risk. (5) Being able to get your license at 16 should not be a given, it should be a decision made by parents if their child acts mature enough. Yes, it frees up the parents time and makes the teen more responsible but losing a child to a car crash is unthinkable. Enrolling your teen into a comprehensive driving program will give them to keys to be a safer driver. Works Cited 1. http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/854393-once-teen-rite-passage-getting-drivers-license-not-important-many-now.html 2. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/states-urged-to-raise-the-driving-age/ 3. http://www.rd.com/advice/dangerous-teen-drivers/ 4. http://www.carinsurancecompanies.net/why-is-car-insurance-more-expensive-for-men/ 5. http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

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