Essay about Changing the Legal Driving Age to Eighteen
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Changing the Legal Driving Age to Eighteen
Every day teens are given access to automobiles. Every day these young people go to their jobs, classes, and athletic practices. Do they all abuse their driving privileges? No. Then why restrict all teens, including the law-abiding and mature, by raising the driving age? This debate reaches all across the nation, to all levels of government, and many related laws and propositions can be found. If the driving age is increased, teenagers will have more difficulty getting jobs and gaining experience. On the other hand, if the driving age is 18, new drivers will have more maturity. So the question remains, should the legal driving age be 18 years old? No, the current driving age…show more content…
Says teen Stefanie Zimmers, "Honestly, I don't follow all the traffic rules" (Zimmers 1). Likewise, teens need to focus on their schoolwork instead of recreational driving. The time wasted driving friends around could be better spent studying for a test. These friends are also a danger and distraction to the young, inexperienced driver. Teens need the extra couple of years to mature and become more attentive. In contrast, many believe that 16 years old is old enough to operate a motor vehicle. Many minors living with their parents face punishments, such as suspension of driving privileges, if they get a ticket or in a collision. They fear losing the ability to drive the family car if they break traffic laws, and often decide to obey the laws rather than be punished. In addition, teens need transportation to their jobs, classes, various entertainment venues, sports practices and competitions. Parents often lack the time to chauffeur the young adults to and from these places. Driving is imperative to teenage life. The ability to drive allows a teenager to be less dependent on their parents and more able to take on additional responsibilities. Without driving privileges, teens would not be able to get to the destinations previously listed.
Furthermore, the common belief that teen car crashes often involve alcohol is false.
Driving is a Privilege, Not a Right
Think of a 16-year-old you know. Now visualize that teen driving unsupervised, at night, and on a busy highway. Also keep in mind that teen drivers account for the largest number of car accidents. Scary, isn’t it?
Just because your teen is 16, it doesn’t mean he is ready for his license. On his 16th birthday, something magical does not occur that makes him a responsible and capable driver.
Turning 16 is not the criteria for deserving a driver’s license. Instead, your teen must prove himself on many occasions and in many situations that he is ready to be behind the wheel on his own.
Driving is a huge responsibility that must be learned in stepsand practiced over and over.
As soon as your teen turns 16, he will annoy you on a daily basis to get his driver’s license. Hopefully, you and your teen have been spending a lot of time practicing prior to his 16th birthday. If not, then get out there and practice! He’ll never be ready if you both don’t put in the time and effort.
Most states have a graduated driver’s license (GDL) program. This means your teen is required to spend time learning how to drive with a licensed driver and he gradually earns more independent driving privileges prior to getting his own full driver’s license.
A common structure for a graduated driver’s license is getting a learner’s permit at age 15, qualifying for an intermediate license while 16-18, and then being eligible for a full driver’s license at age 18. Depending upon your state, the qualifications, procedures, and restrictions will vary. Check with your state’s DMV for details.
While your teen might find these limitations aggravating, you will be more confident in your teen’s driving since he has spent time under the supervision of an experienced driver.
In some states, a teen can go to the DMV and earn a driver’s license without parental consent. Sounds great to an excited 16-year-old, but not so great for the nervous parent!
The best way to avoid an epic showdown with your teen is to explain your intentions as soon as you begin practicing. Explain to your teen that they will not be allowed to get a license until he convinces you that he is ready. You don’t want to spring this information on the eve of his 16th birthday.
Simply explain that you’re worried and nervous about their safety. If both you and your child spend the necessary time together to learn how to drive, there’s no reason they can’t get their license on their 16th birthday.
Photo source: http://flickr.com/photos/dave_traynor/