Should the driving age be raised to 21?

My teen is about to start driving, and I’m not convinced he’s ready for that big of a responsibility. What ever happened to that rumor they were going to raise the minimum driving age?

Macy Fouse · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
It’s no secret that young drivers pose a greater risk on the road—there’s a reason they’re more
expensive to insure
. That being said, whether the driving age should be raised to 21 is debatable. There are several pros and cons to increasing the minimum driving age—here are a few.
Pros to raising the legal driving age: 1. It would reduce road fatalities. Young drivers have the highest accident rate of any other age. With more years to learn and practice, they would make fewer fatal errors.
2. It could reduce traffic. Fewer drivers lead to fewer cars on the road. Not only would there be a lower number of accidents, but it could also reduce emissions levels.
3. It would allow time for teen brains to mature. Young drivers’ brains are still developing in key areas, so they’re more likely to take risks and less likely to think of consequences—both of which can be detrimental on the road.
Cons to raising the legal driving age: 1. It would limit transportation options. Many areas don’t have public transportation. If teens can’t get to their obligations, it could stunt their social development in this critical stage.
2. It could add stress to families. Fewer drivers in the house could lead to stresses with scheduling and logistics, especially as teens engage in more extracurriculars.
3. It may delay critical experience. Young drivers will still need a learning period to get used to driving in the real world, so a later driving age may just shift the high crash rates to a later age range.
In most countries, teens can’t drive until age 18, and driving ages and types of licenses can vary even by U.S. state. Raising the driving age wouldn’t be unreasonable, but it seems that raising it to 18 is more likely than 21.
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