Teenagers generally do not think that the driving age should be raised because they look forward to the freedom that transportation offers them. But there have been talks about changing that age, perhaps increasing it from 16 to something like 18 or even 21.
On the plus side, researchers have looked at statistics and found that there is a significant decrease in fatal accidents when someone turns 20. They identify teenagers specifically as one of the most dangerous groups of drivers on the road. Those from 16 to 19 years old cause a disproportionate number of deadly accidents. Part of the reasoning behind increasing the driving age is to give these drivers a chance to get older. If you can eliminate the age group that causes most fatal accidents, you may theoretically reduce the number of fatalities every year.
But will this actually work?
Critics of this idea argue that it won’t actually make any difference. They point to the role of experience. Many of these young drivers are simply inexperienced, which is why they make mistakes that lead to the fatal crashes.
But increasing the driving age doesn’t change someone’s experience level. It just means that they are older when they get that experience. In other words, raising the driving age to 21 may mean that teenagers stop causing fatal accidents. But would that just mean that drivers from 21 to 24 years old would cause the highest number of fatal crashes as they gained that critical experience?
Either way, it’s clear that young drivers can be a bit problematic on the road. Those who have lost loved ones in accidents that these other drivers have caused – or who have suffered serious injuries – need to know about all of their legal options.