Argument on The Driving Age

Ahmed Sharara, Staff Writer

Driving is a right of passage. It is one of the first significant responsibilities given to a person as they grow up. The vast majority of Minnesota residents experience this newfound responsibility around the time they turn 16. In accordance with Minnesota laws, citizens between the ages of 16 to 18 can receive a provisional driver’s license. However, many people, including myself, find that this age might be too young. An ongoing topic of debate in the safety world has been whether the driving age should be raised or not. As the number of car accidents remains a constant issue in today’s society, some advocate that the legal driving age will prevent road accidents.

The responsibility of driving holds great significance. As a driver, you hold your life and the life of others in your hands. Your decisions impact the safety of others and yourself.  Such responsibility is too great for a teenager. According to data provided by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, in 2020, 16% of all Minnesota traffic accidents involved teenagers. The data also reveals that 80% of all teen fatalities related to crashes involved at least one teen driver. 

This high incidence of teen driving accidents can be avoided by raising the driving age. Doing this will give teens the necessary time to learn from experienced individuals and make better choices down the road. Lack of experience is one of the main reasons teen driving accidents are so prevalent. According to the CDC, 16-year-old drivers are 1.5 times as likely to be in an accident compared to their 18 to 19-year-old counterparts.  

Another reason raising the driving age would be for the best is that teenagers aren’t the most emotionally mature. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, another reason teenagers are more likely to get into accidents is that they have not fully developed their emotional maturity. Because of this lack of development teen drivers can more easily be peer pressured into doing things that would otherwise be illegal, dangerous or both. Out of all the people arrested for traffic violations, teenagers make up 22% in activities such as drinking and driving, according to the Department of Minnesota Traffic Safety. Many of them reported having been peer pressured into doing it. 

Data has made it quite clear that raising the license age will be the most beneficial for American drivers. By raising the age to obtain a license, teens will have more time to gain driving experience from trusted adults and instructors that will better prepare them for the dangers of driving.  Raising the driving age will also allow teens to mentally mature so that they can make responsible choices that will not endanger themselves and others. This will still allow young adults to experience this great responsibility while being better equipped to enjoy it safely.