Driving ages should not be raised


Zach Meaney

16 is just a number, so why should that decide if you are too young or inexperienced to get your driver’s license?

Critics claim that the driving age should be raised due to the inexperience of young drivers – 16 to 18-year-olds. If the driving age was increased, however, risks would be the same because the level of inexperience would be a factor regardless of age.

However, I believe that the driving age should not be raised. Sitting behind the wheel of a car, not only provides freedom for the driver, but it also gives him/her the ability to take control and decide where they will end up. When kids begin driving at the age of 16, they receive freedom and independence which helps them grow as a person.

“I do not drive yet, but driving would bring a lot more responsibilities and freedom at the same time,” sophomore Julia Pereira said. “I would be able to run my own errands and go out to hang with my friends without having to disturb my parents to take me. It is like taking a step towards adulthood.”

Driving busy high schoolers to practice, parties, study group, and extracurriculars can be a burden to parents. It can sometimes be problematic for parents who have many responsibilities of their own. A teenager might want to drive themselves as opposed to having to rely on their parents for availability in order to gain independence. However, by raising the driving age, teens will have to wait longer before they can be responsible for themselves.

Despite the associated benefits of driving at an earlier age, many are worried about the possible risks and dangers that young drivers may pose to others. However, I believe that the only way to gain experience is to be out on the road, on their own and learning from their mistakes. Raising the driving age to 18 would only take away two years of experience from a young driver.

“Driving at an earlier age gives you the time to make small mistakes that you aren’t able to make when you have gone off to college,”senior Nicole Constantin said. “I believe you should have as many years behind the wheel as you can to gain more experience as you become more independent in the future years”.

Although many are concerned about the inexperience of young drivers, I believe it shouldn’t be a worry because the current requirements do not make it easy to obtain a driver’s license. Many checkpoints are in place to ensure that students have learned the basics of driving to avoid any dangers on the road. These requirements include passing an approved drivers education course, completing the required hours behind the wheel, standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles and obtaining a driver’s license.

“Driving classes certainly ensure that you will become a better driver, overtime if you attend the class,” senior Khash Eftekhar said. “They show you the dangers and the measures you can take to make sure you become a better driver on the roads.”

Regardless of what age a teenager starts driving, the lack of experience will always be a factor that will weigh heavily. There are rules and checkpoints put in place to ensure the safety of every driver on the road. Raising the driving age will not only take away an important experience from a teenager, while they still remain inexperienced unless they start driving.