It’s Time to Toughen the Laws on Teen Drivers

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It’s Time to Toughen the Laws on Teen Drivers

Turning sixteen years old in teenagers' lives is an exciting event. It allows them to get a drivers license and is a big step towards adulthood. With this, it gives them freedom and control over something they have never experienced before. In most cases, people stress about gangs, drugs, and violence in our communities as a big result of teenage deaths, but the leading causes of accidents today are teenage drivers, especially sixteen and seventeen year olds. Maria Purdy, an author for "Teen Magazine", writes about statistics with young teenage drivers. She sites that, "To equal the number of youths killed in motor vehicle crashes in 1995, a plane with 520 people on board would have to crash with no survivors once a month for a full year" (online). Legislators should pass a law changing the drivers licensing age to eighteen instead of sixteen. By doing this, it could decrease driving problems we face today.

In most European Countries, teenagers aren't able to earn a license until they are at least seventeen or eighteen years old. There have been less fatal crashes among teens in these countries because of this. Cheryl Tevis who wrote an article in the "Successful Farming" magazine, writes about American teenagers compared to other teenagers around the world. She states that "American teens drive at an earlier age than those in most countries" (online). This is not surprising to me since there are some states that have allowed teenagers to drive at age fourteen in some circumstances.

For the most part, sixteen and seventeen year olds don't realize the importance and responsibility that comes when getting a drivers license. They feel it is something to play around with and don't take it seriously. For instance, immaturity is a cause of being irresponsible. Because of this there are many accidents that happen that could have been prevented. Allan F. Williams, an author for "Public Health Reports" writes about the characteristics all teenagers have in common. He observes that "Qualities generally associated with immaturity (such as chance taking, testing limits, poor decision-making, overconfidence) are associated with the more risky driving styles characteristic of teenage drivers" (online). Almost half of the accidents today caused by teenagers were linked to peer pressure and immaturity.

Often, in teenagers' lives, they look towards their friends for advice and guidance rather than their teachers, parents, and others.

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