Why we should increase the driving age to 18
By Shreya Nippani
Imagine sitting next to your older sibling who just learned to drive a car. You’re zooming around the place when, bang! You crash into another car and the airbags deflate. You should read this because if you know or are related to someone who is about to get their license, you may want to re-think driving with them. My name is Shreya Nippani, I am twelve years old and live in the state of Massachusetts. Today you will read about why the age to drive a car should be increased. I chose this topic because when I come of age to learn to drive, I don’t want to be in any accidents. In this essay I will explain the problems that we currently face from teen drivers, the solution I am proposing to this problem, and what the world looks like if you take my advice or if you don’t.
The main problem which we all are facing is the increasing number of accidents from adolescents and young adults while driving their cars. People are dying and getting badly injured from these accidents and we need to put a stop to this. You might think that the teens have supervision while they first learn to drive, but even then, accidents can happen to the most disciplined. Parents are concerned for their children because not only do they have to pay for any damage, but their child is risking their life as well as others’ lives too.
According to Fox News, “A survey found that most parents of teen drivers have been worried about their kids' safety behind the wheel”. Lots of things can cause accidents to happen; social media, texting friends, as well as talking to people while they drive are only some of the causes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found evidence that in 2019 that, “38,800 people were killed in car accidents in the USA”. The CDC also said that in the same year, almost “2,400 teens were killed between ages 13-19 in the USA”. There is not any parent who would want to see their child get hurt. Many people might not even realize this, but there is no necessity for teens to be driving at that young age! Maybe their parents are too busy to drive them around or they just want their children to be more independent - there is nothing wrong with that. But would it hurt just to carpool or take a bus? Are teens just using this privilege to joke around or go to parties? According to the Portola Pilot, “Contrary to popular belief that allowing teens to drive will make them more responsible, 16-year-olds are simply not prepared to handle the mental and physical demands of driving. By just waiting two more years, the critical thinking skills, level of responsibility, and awareness of drivers would be greatly improved. Parents should rethink sending them to drive alone to places for unnecessary reasons. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says that “an adolescent’s brain is not yet fully developed or matured till the mid or late 20s”.
Sending a teen to drive may not be the best idea considering their brain is embryonic. They aren’t aware of the consequences if they don’t pay attention and are more likely to crash their car. With all this evidence, it shows how dangerous it is for adolescents to be driving.
This is why it is time to change the law!
The solution that I am proposing to this problem is that the age to drive without parental supervision should be increased from 16 to 18 for every U.S. state. This way, there will be fewer accidents, injuries, and casualties. The first step is to spread the word to your local driving schools. We will explain the problem at hand and try to convince them to not allow students below the age of 18 to learn to drive. If that idea fails, the next approach is to create a petition. We will take a survey of parents in our town who agree with our idea, and they will learn more about the consequences and therefore prevent their children from driving at such a young age. This would force driving schools to increase the age they let people learn to drive. Once this has been accomplished, we will go to the governor and explain our idea. Subsequently, we will try to announce this around the country through social media. One way we can spread the word through the internet is by making a video about the consequences of driving when you’re an adolescent. Explaining about the dangers and risks of doing that will make people aware of the problem. Eventually, it will get the attention of governors around the USA and it will be passed to the president. If we have enough advocates, America will become an even safer place for drivers on the road.
Let’s imagine what the world would look like if you don’t take my advice. Your adolescent is sitting in the car with their younger siblings. They are going shopping for groceries and are gone for a long time. Suddenly your phone starts ringing and you answer it. The police have just called to inform you that your children are badly injured and are at the hospital. They tell you that your teen was speeding and the crash resulted in others getting injured as well as the damage of your car. How would you feel if this happened? Would you just punish your child and forget about it? Or would you put a stop to this? There are crashes happening every day in the world and your child could be part of it. How would you like it if every time you go out, you see police everywhere and accidents on every road? You would never be able to get to work on time, ambulances would be stuck in traffic causing harm to their patients, and it would be extremely dangerous for adolescents to be driving in hazardous conditions. Let’s change that now before things get any worse! We can prevent negative consequences from happening if we all work together and support this cause. Just imagine how much better the world would be if we increased the age to drive a car to 18. Your child will be mature enough to know the privileges of having a car and will use it wisely. There will be fewer accidents on the road and it would be safer for everyone to drive. Take my advice and support the cause! Let’s make the roads a safer place for everyone by extending the age to drive to 18.
Today we took a hard look at the facts of what makes teen drivers so dangerous, the solution I provided of changing the legal age to drive to 18, and what the world would look like if we don’t make a change. You can make a difference in the world so your children can live a safe and happy life. Vote to change the age to drive so there will be fewer accidents. Spread the word to everyone you know and explain to them how vital it is to increase the age to drive to 18. To all those adolescents out there, inform your friends about this so you can all stay safer on the roads.
Join the cause today and let’s drive safe!