Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age to 18

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Should the driving age be raised to 18 from the age of 16 that it currently is in many jurisdictions? It is believed that older teens will make more responsible decisions behind the wheel, but others say that it is inexperience behind the wheel that leads to problems and not age. Here are the pros and cons to consider on this subject.

The Pros of Raising the Driving Age

1. It could help with the youth obesity issue.
There’s no denying that today’s kids are dealing with weight issues. 1 in 3 Americans, for example, are overweight right now and the percentage keeps increasing. By raising the driving age 2 years, older teens may be encouraged to exercise more and learn healthier habits since the car isn’t available to them.

2. It stops unhealthy multitasking habits.
In the younger teen years, smartphones and other technology distractions can make driving very dangerous. At the age of 18, there have been adjustments made so that technology isn’t as important as driving when compared to the age of 16.

3. It could lower teen fatality rates.
High speed thrills are often part of the teen driving experience. Although those thrills aren’t going to go away, there is more decision-making skills that have been practiced in the two years from 16 to 18 that can help to limit dangerous thrill seeking experiences.

The Cons of Raising the Driving Age

1. No experience is gained by not getting to drive.
If inexperience is the cause of many accidents, then raising the driving age to 18 or 25 or even 40 won’t change that fact. Teens have to get experience somehow and the only place to do that is behind the wheel.

2. It puts additional pressure on parents.
Teens at 16 aren’t able to help with household errands in the same way if they don’t have a driver’s license. Many teens at 18 are getting ready to move out of the house and either get a job or go to college. At 17, without a driver’s license, it becomes more difficult to find work. Some kids might even go to college without a license.

3. It communicates a lack of trust.
Teens are doing more than just preparing themselves for their future. They’re also establishing a reputation of trust in their community. Not having a driver’s license puts a roadblock in the way of accomplishing this.

The pros and cons of raising the driving age to 18 are often based on accident statistics and facts about inexperience. If the only way to gain experience is to get behind the wheel to drive, then these additional key points must be considered to determine if this is a good idea to pursue.