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National Driving Age

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onnor Onak

Mr. Cannon

World Literature

26th September 2011

National Driving Age

The current national driving age is 16. Kids have the opportunity to get their learners permit at the age of 15. To get their license, they must have had their permit for 9 months and must have a minimum of 50 driving hours. There have been many attempts to try to change this age, but according to USA today "most parents and teens alike tend to want to stick to the status quo". So kids who have barely been teenagers are allowed to start driving and all that is needed to drive is an adult. Now driving is a scary thing to think about. When the thought is put into the idea of driving, you have the ability to kill someone or yourself in the blink of an eye. According to a Harvard study written by Matt Richtel "an estimated 2,600 traffic related deaths are caused by the use of cell phones while driving and 330,000 accidents occurred in 2003". This is a reason to raise the driving age because a majority of the people texting and driving are the kids who just currently got their license. There is hope though and according to Allen Robinson, Ph.D. "the fatality rate of drivers in the United States is far better than any other country, but it is still the leading cause of teen deaths". But this doesn't hide the fact that car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in the United States. So for example, "your initial driver license would be at age 20 and your license privilege would end at age 65" (Robinson 2). To be 20 and just getting a license is a little bit extreme. But that isn't saying that the national driving age shouldn't be raised because driving is the leading cause of teen death. If guided and educated properly, these deaths can significantly be reduced

There have been many suggestions made to raise the driving age or to provide more information to the drivers who are first stepping behind the wheel. As previously stated in the opening paragraph, many teens are killed by car crashes. According to Allen Robinson, "driver education needs to have better resources and techniques in order to teach safe driving practices". Also, with the need of better resources and techniques, "the minimum age for obtaining an instruction permit shall be 16" (Quensel 2). People also should have to take the driver education class through the school in which the student is enrolled in because from past experiences, friends have said that they spent minimal amount of time in the classrooms. Whereas people who take the class through the school have spent a whole quarter of 9 weeks in the classroom learning about all of the rules and regulations of driving. Also, Warren Quensel thinks that "there is the need to establish an effective screening device for identifying those persons who are unfit to be given the privilege to drive". So, say someone has broken the law by drinking and driving and has done jail time. This screening device can prevent them from ever driving again. But education is not the only reason why driving is the leading cause of teenage deaths. There is a little thing called technology that interferes with people focus.

Texting is the nations most riveting phenomena. In a recent online survey of 1,999 teenagers from age 16-19 according to USA Today, "they found that 84 percent were aware that distracted driving behaviors increase their crash risk; yet 86 percent of them have engaged in those behaviors" (USA Today 1). Also in another survey conducted by USA Today "teens gave reasons why they drive while distracted: 41 percent says that it only takes a split second; 35 percent think they won't get hurt; 22 percent say it makes driving less boring; and 21 percent say they are used to being connected to people all the time" (USA Today).



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