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Pros & Cons of Changing the Driving Age to 18

For a number of years, lawmakers in America have debated whether the driving age should be raised to 18. From 2006 to 2008, states such as Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Massachusetts attempted to change the driving age to 18, but continually failed. Driving remains a privilege and no matter what age people drive, they must take responsibility and understand the dangers and learn to avoid them.

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Many 16-year-olds have enough responsibility to show they can treat driving by following laws and respecting other drivers on the road. Also, if a 16-year-old driver shows responsibility in a vehicle, then his parents understand his capabilities of other responsibilities. Parents do not have to get off work and pick up their son from school or take him to football practice. On the other hand, statistically, young drivers have more accidents and deaths on the road than older ones. According to www.idebate.org, there were 30,000 deaths involving 15- to 17-year-old drivers from 1995 to 2004. These statistics decreased in later years as many states adopted something called graduated driver licensing, which give more restrictions to drivers under 18.


According to www.idebate.org, obesity begins in childhood. Driving at 16 can create an argument for obesity. However, in countries such as the Ukraine, the driving age has always been 18, and people usually walk or take a bus. Given this, Ukrainians stay slimmer than Americans. Waiting a few more years will keep Americans walking or riding bikes helping their health and fitness. Many teen drivers eat while driving, especially ordering fast food, which does not combat obesity.

Finance and the Economy

Although a 16-year-old gets to her destination more efficiently and timely, raising the driving age to 18 would decrease the amount of vehicles on the road potentially having less oxidants in the air, which destroy the environment. Also, many 16-year-old drivers do not work putting the financial burden on their parents. With the increase on gas prices and rising insurance costs for younger drivers, especially males, parents do not want to fill this burden.

Rural Transportation and Dangers

Although other countries have an impressive transportation system as do many major metropolitan U.S. cities, much of the United States spreads out into rural areas. These areas have less or no bus transportation and waiting until 18 may cause hardships getting to school or work, especially when parents need to be at work at the same time. However, oftentimes, these rural areas consist of many accidents because of less safety officers, which creates thrill-seeking challenges and dangers like drag racing, playing chicken and driving carelessly in mud.

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About the Author

Scott Short

Residing in Lehigh Acres, Florida, Scott Short has taught writing since April 2002. In June 2009 he began travel-writing, publishing in Seattle's "America Family" magazine and other sources. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Warner Southern College in Lake Wales, Florida.

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