Do Kids Really Need To Drive at 16?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety presented recommendations yesterday to the Governor's Highway Safety Association advocating to have the driving age raised to 17 or even 18.  There's good reason for this.  Studies show that the rate of fatal and non-fatal car crashes for every mile driven by a 16-year old is 10 times higher that of a 30 year old.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

Needless to say I'm sure this would not sit well with teens.  But the statistics don't lie – car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens with close to 3,500 deaths and an additional 272,000 injuries.  In New Jersey, however, where the driving age is 17, the rate of teen deaths and injuries is lower than the national average. 

While there are many responsible 16 year-olds, are they mature enough to handle dangerous situations that come up on dark or slippery roads?  Are parent's against raising the driving age so that they can be freed from some of the after-school driving responsibilities and have an extra driver to help shuttle younger siblings back and forth to various activities?

Regardless of the driving age, do you have restrictions on your teen driver?  What are your thoughts on raising the age?


1 Comment

Filed under Teen Driving

One response to “Do Kids Really Need To Drive at 16?

  1. Tina

    I started driving when I was 18. My friends all had cars so I didn’t really feel like I needed to. It was a lot of pressure putting other peoples lives in my hands. Driving is serious business! I am glad I waited, think most kids should wait. In my state someone who is 15 can drive with a “farmers permit” and that’s just crazy! 8th graders driving around…9th graders isn’t so far off from that! Think of the lives it could save.

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