The current lower limit for a driver’s age is 16. Some driving often takes place before this, either with an instructor or with parents, but 16 is the age at which someone can finally get a license. Many teens are quite excited to reach this age, especially in rural areas where there are very limited options for public transportation.
However, there are those who point out that teens also cause the most fatal car accidents – and they’re right. This suggests that those from 16-19 are perhaps not as ready to drive as was previously assumed, so people will sometimes believe the driving age should be increased. If we didn’t have teenagers behind the wheel, the theory goes, we would have fewer fatal crashes every year. But would that help?
One area in which it may help is with brain development. A teenager’s brain is not fully developed, and this development actually doesn’t stop until around age 25. Considering this, moving the age up to 21 could significantly help. Development may not be done, but it would be much further along than at 16. It is unlikely that the driving age would ever be increased all the way to 25.
But the major counter to this idea is simply that inexperience often causes teens to make mistakes, and those mistakes are what cause crashes. They need to drive more, not less, to gain experience. Moving the driving age up may only change the age at which they receive it.
In other words, the fatal accident rates for those from 21 to 24 may just increase, showing that these drivers are now a bit older, but still just as inexperienced. Their lack of miles and hours behind the wheel is still going to cause them to make mistakes that more experienced drivers would not make, no matter how old they are.
Have you been injured?
It’s clear that teen drivers pose a risk and that car accidents will continue to happen due to their inexperience. Those who suffer injuries must know about their legal options.