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  #1    
Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:19 AM). Edited July 18th, 2012 by Livewire.
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The age at which you can legally drive varies from country to country, but in many places it is lower than 18. In some American states it is 15 or younger. Usually you are allowed to take a driving test a year or more before you can vote or drink alcohol. As young drivers are the ones most likely to have accidents, from time to time there are calls to raise the driving age. In the past two years lawmakers in the US states of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Massachusetts have debated raising their driving age, although these attempts are unlikely to change anything in the foreseeable future. The British government has also recently considered lifting the driving age in the UK from 17 to 18, although it seems unlikely to go ahead with this change.

This topic assumes that the age should be raised to 18, but the arguments will still work for any number higher than the present legal driving age in your state. Many European countries already have a driving age of 18, so they might debate raising it to 21. Most of the arguments will also work for a debate on limiting how young people can drive.


Is there any logic in raising the driving age to 18, or even 21? Do you think it would reduce the rate of accidents and fatalities on the road for young people? Would a raised driving age change how schools and local governments treat drivers?

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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:34 AM).
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I'd say there is, because there are some states, such as Texas, that have enacted the law that 'new and unexperienced' sixteen year olds are not allowed to ride with two or more other children of their age without another adult in the car. This is because the state believes the raw mind is too easily distracted, especially by others their own age. If the age minimum were raised, there wouldn't be a need for laws such as this because risk would be down, in my opinion.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:40 AM).
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Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
Is there any logic in raising the driving age to 18, or even 21? Do you think it would reduce the rate of accidents and fatalities on the road for young people? Would a raised driving age change how schools and local governments treat drivers?

Discuss!
Ultimately... no.

I think it works well where driving precedes alcohol. Also having a child be able to drive (if you're able to afford a car for them) must be a big relief to parents who no longer have to ship them around!

I do wonder about kids as young as 15 driving though, but I think it depends on the level of testing. In the UK the test is quite difficult, in most cases 'bad' drivers fail, etc. But I have no idea how the US driving education system works.

I think it would be a good idea to limit young drivers in one way or another, such as banning them from motorway use, or having a curfew - ie, not driving after 11pm or something. It would be a good way to minimalise accidents without totally removing their right to drive.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:51 AM).
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Originally Posted by SwiftSign View Post
I think it would be a good idea to limit young drivers in one way or another, such as banning them from motorway use, or having a curfew - ie, not driving after 11pm or something. It would be a good way to minimalise accidents without totally removing their right to drive.
The problem with this comes the availability of the system or people to regulate restrictions such as this. Who will ultimately be the ones to say 'you can't be out after this hour' and also be the ones to enforce it by forcing them to go home? And how would they be forced to go home? The majority of adolescent minds will rebel against this. Same with banning them from motorway (interstate) use. Wouldn't that call for the implementation of booths similar to tollbooths that question every single driver on the topic of their age?

No thanks.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:53 AM).
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Ummmm don't bring it to 18. Please. Because you have people like me whose birthdays fall late and they start college at the age of 17 and if the legal driving age was 18, do you know how embarrassing that would be? And what about if they leave the state for college? How they heck are they gonna get around? I mean, it's not like they'll be 17 for that long I'm sure, but still, there are these cases and I'm living proof. If the driving age could be raised to 17, I don't think that'd be too big of a problem, but 18 is far too high.

And I don't think the real problem here is the driving. I think it's the distractions, like texting, music, food, alcohol, etc. I heard that cars are starting to be made that will prevent the phones from being used while the car is on, which I think will help. As for music, you should either keep it off or low volume till you can feel comfortable with it on (this is what I did) and also find your radio station or set up CDs or iPods before leaving the driveway. As for food in the car, you just need self control I guess lol. The fries can wait, hon. And alcohol, probably the biggest one next to texting, idk. People drink underage all the time (though idk why you'd want to...it's not THAT fantastic but that's just imo) and I guess think "oh I'm okay to drive" and people let them go anyway or there are no designated drivers. That's really another topic for another day, though. Oh crap, I forgot to mention other people in the car. Oh well, I'll stop this for now.

But I really don't think the driving problems are an age thing, it's really the distractions in the car.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:58 AM).
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Originally Posted by Sydian View Post
But I really don't think the driving problems are an age thing, it's really the distractions in the car.
Which is why I touched on the fact Texas laws don't allow more than one person of the same age in the car. If you're old/mature enough (I'm talking if the age is raised to 18 or so) to drive at that point, you're mature enough to have other people as distractions in the car. However, I do agree with the rest of your post, detailing alcohol/food/music being huge distractions, but if the 16-year-old can't drive without starting all of these distractions, he or she should not be driving.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (12:09 PM).
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I don't think it'll be good if they did raise it. There are several 15-17 year olds who need to drive in order to get around to school,work, or to take and pick up siblings.
There are older people who don't know how to drive very well.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (12:13 PM).
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Originally Posted by Magmaruby and Aquasapphire View Post
I don't think it'll be good if they did raise it. There are several 15-17 year olds who need to drive in order to get around to school,work, or to take and pick up siblings.
There are older people who don't know how to drive very well.
If there are 15-year-olds that are responsible for picking up siblings, then they are qualified for a hardship license which would basically bypass everything listed here because it would be transport between home and school. Period.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (12:57 PM).
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That would extend childhood even further. The US has a large problem with extended childhood - up until 23 for many children, they're wards of their parents instead of truly going off on their own. The reason Europe can get away with it is because they have good public transportation and you can get many places on foot. The US isn't like that; if a child wants a job in many places, their only option is a car.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (02:33 PM).
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[SIZE="a"]I don't really think its age, it's experience. Waiting an extra 2 or 3 years without driving won't decrease rates of accidents. New drivers just need experience on the road.[/SIZE]
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (02:47 PM).
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[SIZE="a"]I don't really think its age, it's experience. Waiting an extra 2 or 3 years without driving won't decrease rates of accidents. New drivers just need experience on the road.
Well this could bring up the argument that you should be allowed to drive the second you can reach the pedals no matter how old you are (13, 14, a very tall 10 year old). Are you willing to follow that argument to its logical conclusion, or do you have another requirement to being able to drive?[/SIZE]
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (02:48 PM).
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Originally Posted by Toujours View Post


Well this could bring up the argument that you should be allowed to drive the second you can reach the pedals no matter how old you are (13, 14, a very tall 10 year old). Are you willing to follow that argument to its logical conclusion, or do you have another requirement to being able to drive?
While this is a good point and the argument is viable, I believe he was more targeting the fact that new drivers, as in the ones that are fifteen and sixteen, should still be allowed to drive and gain their own experience rather than being barred to an older age.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (08:55 PM). Edited July 18th, 2012 by CarcharOdin.
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I think 16-18 is just fine. I've met quite a few 18 year-olds who drive safer than a 24 year old. While 13-14 is admittedly quite a stretch, the responsibility to drive depends more than on just age. However, I think 21 is too risky because teaching someone to drive while they're able to purchase alcohol doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

Driving takes experience and training to accomplish at any age. A good drivers education program really drives home the fact that driving recklessly and getting distracted can cost you and others their lives worst case scenario. Teaching people how to drive responsibly (do not get distracted) and efficiently (not holding up traffic the passing lane, but also not speeding like you're part of a NASCAR race) and also the dangers of driving irresponsibly is important.

I'm not saying you shouldn't go 10 over the limit on an Interstate Highway if you feel comfortable with that speed, but driving 15 over the limit in a neighborhood with kids around makes you look like a jackass. Also texting while driving is like begging for an accident. And to end my little rant, please signal when you're going to turn and look to see if no one is in the lane you're going into. Want to know what's just as unsafe as speeding too much? Having to swerve out of the way when you're about to crash into me because you didn't give me enough warning and you didn't watch out for me.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:23 PM).
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It's 18 in Australia and i have to say i think it works well, for this country anyway. Only 1290 lives were lost across the country last year, and i believe that making the age 18 is contributing to the low road toll.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (10:28 PM).
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Originally Posted by Zupplu View Post
It's 18 in Australia and i have to say i think it works well, for this country anyway. Only 1290 lives were lost across the country last year, and i believe that making the age 18 is contributing to the low road toll.
wat

There were only 408 in 2011 and the amount has declined since nearly twenty years ago.

source
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (11:17 PM).
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In a country with vast expanses of rural areas where you can go as much as 50 miles without anything significant around, I am of the opinion that raising the driving age as high as 18 is impractical due to it often being the only relatively safe and efficient means for teens in rural areas to go to and from extracurricular events and jobs that they may have after school or during the summer. Teen drivers are among the most accident prone due to being inexperienced and being very prone to distracted driving, such as having friends in the car or talking on the cell phone or texting while driving. More experienced drivers are less likely to be distracted by the former two, as they know full well that their focus should be on the road as opposed to any conversation being had, while drivers of any experience level will have trouble with texting and driving. If the age were bumped up, the age range that is the most accident prone would go up correspondingly, though there would be some spreading of the accident-prone range, since bumping it up to around 18 would put many in college/university, and that would mean many teens that would have been driving a lot before college under a lower age limit would be not driving nearly as often as their non-college attending peers, thus being considerably less experienced than they would be under a lower age limit when they graduate from college with the higher age limit (having only 4 or 5 years of possible experience with limited driving being done instead of 7 or 8 years with 3 or 4 years worth of substantial driving being done). Instead of 16 and 17 year olds being the ones most frequently involved in accidents, it'd be college-age individuals, and drunk driving accidents may go up again, since the whole reason they went down in the 1970s in the US was due to the raising of the drinking age from 18 to 21, so drivers had 5 years of independent driving experience instead of just 2.



Minzy, the user you quoted is from Australia. The figure they're referencing is for Australia, not America.
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Old Posted July 18th, 2012 (11:30 PM).
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While this is a good point and the argument is viable, I believe he was more targeting the fact that new drivers, as in the ones that are fifteen and sixteen, should still be allowed to drive and gain their own experience rather than being barred to an older age.
The point I'm making is that if the argument can be used to say that anyone who can physically reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel can drive, then the argument isn't sound and can't really be used on its own. Well I mean, unless Munchlax really believes that, haha. That was my question - obviously in his mind he either believes that anyone of any age can drive, or he has some extra part of his argument that he probably sees as obvious so he's not saying it aloud. Often the 'obvious' parts of arguments are where assumptions lie, so drawing out someone's entire argument makes them think about why they believe what they believe and whether it's actually reasonable in the face of logic.
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Old Posted July 19th, 2012 (12:18 AM).
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It's 18 in Australia and i have to say i think it works well, for this country anyway. Only 1290 lives were lost across the country last year, and i believe that making the age 18 is contributing to the low road toll.
Which state are you in? You can get your Red Ps at 17 in NSW (assuming you got your Ls at 16).

It's really not practical. Some people finish school before 18 and without cars, there is no way of getting to some places within a reasonable time frame. While I'm 19, it takes me 28-30 mins to get to uni by car. On the other hand, if I were to catch a bus to the station (20-25 mins) and then catch a train to uni (40-45 mins) it would take well over an hour ignoring wait times. You can wait up to 30 mins for a bus and 15 mins for a train. Also, it's at least a 15-20 minute walk from home to the bus stop and 10 mins from the station to uni. I'm sorry, but over 2 hours for a trip I can do in the car in under 30 mins is a joke. If I didn't have a license or couldn't get a lift to/from the station, it would make things very tough. Some people at uni ARE 17 and are in this situation.

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People aged 17 to 25 years make up 25 per cent of drivers killed or seriously injured, but represent only 16 per cent of the adult population (Australian Transport Council, 2010).
Yes, our group makes up a higher road toll percentage, but that IS decreasing and many of these are beginning drivers. If they started at 25 years old, then they would be just as inexperienced.
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Old Posted July 19th, 2012 (11:22 AM).
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Originally Posted by donavannj View Post
Minzy, the user you quoted is from Australia. The figure they're referencing is for Australia, not America.
Pfft, shh, I know that. :x
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Old Posted July 19th, 2012 (05:35 PM). Edited July 19th, 2012 by ToxicGame.
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(Sorry for the mistakes. I'm not used to write such long posts )

This discussion is very interesting. I didn't know the minimum age for a driver's license varied from state to state in the US.

In Canada, or at least in my province, the official age is 16. BUT (notice the capital letters) this is only the age for the mandatory driving class, since you can't take it before 16 but can't drive without it. This class is only given by private schools and costs between 800$ and 1 000$. Many families can't afford it. It takes a year to finish your class. During this time, you cannot drive without an experienced driver at your side. After that, you have some kind of ' half-license ' for another year (by this time, you're 17, if you had enough money to begin your course at 16). The deal : break no laws (watch out for stops, speed limits, etc.) or you'll lose it. While this strategy has some advantages (it forces young and inexperienced drivers to be more careful when they first get their license), it hides a serious fact : the government wants to discourage people from learning to drive. They think that 25- people are immature and dangerous, but they can't forbid them to drive (after all, most people need a car to work, and no country wants to have all its young adults unemployed).

Ok, I agree, young people are a big part of the accidents because of their inexperience and, well, occasional stupidity. But I live in Canada. If you've ever been there, and I'm not talking about Montreal or Toronto or Vancouver, but the countryside, you know what I mean when I say I live in the woods. Well, not exactly in the woods, but almost. My parents and my friend's parents are tired of dumping us around the region. There is close to no public transportation in my town. And I'm not so far of the city : there is no bus, that's all. I have to wait a very long time (sometimes more than an hour on a week day) just to go to the train station. So when I hear some people from Montreal saying ' those dumb kids should drive at 21 and have a curfew and take the bus ', I just want to... well, I just feel like the people who complain are not those who are concerned. Yes, everybody is concerned by their safety on the road, but that's not what I mean. For city people, public transportation is the solution, and I agree with that. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm 16 and stuck in a small town with almost no buses. I'm just beginning my driving classes (they are easy as hell, nothing my parents didn't already tell me, and they are costing me half a limb), and I'm grateful for it. I know texting or drinking while driving is the most stupid thing I could ever do. And I don't think I'm the only teenager who thinks that.

And I agree that 15 is too young to drive. It's okay to set limits, but we should not push them to far. After you've read about the driving class system in my province, imagine what it would be if the age was 18. Some people are not able to get their license before they are 20 as I write now because for the course's cost. It would make them at least 22 if the minimum age was 18.
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Old Posted July 19th, 2012 (10:13 PM).
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Leave age limits as they are if they make sense for the area, (low ages for rural areas where driving is more of a necessity), but make the tests to get your license much stricter. Make sure that people who are going to be driving have the skills to do it safely. Maybe even make people take a followup test just to make sure they still know what they're doing.

Better public transportation seems to be a better idea so that young people can still get around as they mature (and become less easily distracted).
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Old Posted July 19th, 2012 (10:55 PM).
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In some areas, I think they should just make harder tests.

In my state they call off the test if it lightly sprinkles, and if you're half way through they just pass you when that happens. I mean I failed twice when it's that easy. I wasn't ready to drive, but because my father pushed me on my last test I "technically" didn't do anything wrong so I wasn't failed, even though the tester was uncomfortable with my nervousness. I used to make so many mistakes, and it's only about four years later that I'm barely comfortable driving.

If you are allowed to get your learners permit at a younger age, and just make the test harder I think that will work. So if you need it out of necessity or you're pretty good at it already there's nothing stopping you, but if you're not good you just have to spend more time with your learners and having an adult to help you.
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Old Posted July 23rd, 2012 (05:31 AM).
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Originally Posted by Zupplu View Post
It's 18 in Australia and i have to say i think it works well, for this country anyway. Only 1290 lives were lost across the country last year, and i believe that making the age 18 is contributing to the low road toll.
Depends on the state. In QLD(where I live), you can get your Ls at 16 but you have to do 100hours of recorded driving(I think it's actually 200 now) before you can go for your Ps.

In all honesty, raising the age limit is just postponing accidents.
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Old Posted July 25th, 2012 (08:09 PM).
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I believe the age here to start is 15/16. We have a graduated licensing system here. So, you have your written test and then you can drive around with your parents. A year later you can go for your first driving test - just roads. Pass that and you can drive on your own, except for the highway (and some other restrictions, like the number of passengers you can have in your car at late hours).

A year after that you take a highway test and then you have you full license. So... if you started on time you'll be around 18 by the time you're all done. Which seems perfectly fine to me. You're still in highschool until your 18 anyway.
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Old Posted July 26th, 2012 (08:05 AM).
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I think it's unnecessary. I mean... what good/bad will it do? It's not even a relevant discussion. In Maryland here I believe it is 16... I think 16 is probably a good age. But 18... nah. Well... what difference would it make? Honestly I don't care, but it would piss a lot of people who have strong opinions... like everyone here... off if they did raise it.
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