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July 25th, 2002

Driving Age

I grew up in the only state in the country where you had to be 17 before you could get your driver’s license. According to this page, it might even be 18 now, after having extended the “learning period” a bit more with the “Graduated Driver License.” It was kind of a pain to me at that age, of course, but looking back I think it was a good thing that New Jersey held students back from getting their license and gave them more practice time behind the wheel.

The other day I was chatting with the famous Chris O’Donnell about this very topic. Drivers under 20 and over 69 have much higher driver fatality rates than those in between. In Great Britain, drivers between 17-21 make up only 4.4% of license holders, but account for 13% of car accidents.

I think I’d be willing to have every state bump up the age for a drivers license by six months or a year (many are already doing this, apparently) as long as they didn’t touch when young drivers get their learner’s permit. Making them wait an extra year isn’t going to magically turn them into better drivers unless they have that extra time to practice.

What do you think?

Posted in Cars

Christina September 5, 2006, 6:42 pm

well…i think the driving age should stay at 16. however, i think permits should be issued at age 15, to allow for more driving experience, while having parents in the vehicle to give advice and to teach. This way, when they do go out on their own to drive, 16 years olds will have a whole year of practice versus only half a year. And waiting till you are 18 causes a burden on the whole family, because parents will have to drive their children around all the way through high school, or at least be present in the car while they drive. Many families today rely on their 16 and 17 year old children to drive themselves to and from school, sports, jobs, or even running small erands to save parents time. They also help out with the other siblings in their family, so parents can have some time to do the needed chores or erands that need to be done.
These are some reasons i believe the way i do…but please if anyone has any information on the driving age and restrictions for ohio, please let me know. I need information for a project. 🙂 Thank you!!

rich October 9, 2006, 1:41 pm

I think that the age should not stay because right now the price of gas is rising and kids the age of sixteen already are struggling with other things of their own

Brittany November 14, 2006, 2:13 am

I am against raising the age of driving. Being able to drive is a big privelage and a day that all teenagers wait to have. I am currently 15, and i will be 16 in march, which is only 4 months away. If they change the driving age to 18, within the next 4 months, i will be so furious. It really isn’t fare that because some teenagers are bad drivers, all teens have to suffer through the consuquences. Some of us are ready and resposnible enough to drive. Majority of the teens who wreck weren’t properly taught how to drive, or didn’t drive enough to practice when they had their permits. That could be the parents fault. I personally think its up to the parents to decide how old you are to get your permit/license. It really isn’t fare that some states (Colorado for example) can start driving at the age of 15, why should others have to wait 3 more years?

Ashley November 14, 2006, 2:16 am

i have a comment about Danielle saying the age should be moved up to 21. Your making it seem as if only underage kids are the ones who drink and drive. Your wrong, 21 would be even worse. Because getting ur license and being legal to drink all in the same year would defintly cause some issues. I disagree with her.

jk November 14, 2006, 3:58 pm

Phew, it’s a good thing there isn’t a spelling test involved when you get your permit or license!

connor November 16, 2006, 5:31 pm

You can get your temps at 15 1/2 and your regular at 16. That or make it 12 and 13 1/2.

Dance is lmy way of ife November 20, 2006, 2:40 am

I say you shouldn’t make us young ppl wait longer. I have not gootin my licence or permit but it seems really unfair. I can not wait that long I have a life and I am very very responsible. I have things I want to do that I can’t do w/o a licence. The job I want when I get 2 b 16 is 45mins. away from my house. I know my mom doesn’t want 2 drive me there or wait for me 2 get out of work. You realy have 2 consider everything. U no what I mean. But I can c if u don’t reall yknow where I’m coming from oh wait…………. u really should. They allready moved the age for me so know I have to put my job life on hold for a couple more years. I AM REALLY MAD @ THAT.

15 years old January 18, 2007, 2:34 pm

I do not think the driving age should be changed to 18. Statistics show that ages 16-25 are the most irresponsible drivers. This means that even 18 year olds are not driving well! At the age or 16, you have places to go, for example you may have a job or after school activity to go to. Its nice to have your license so that you don’t always have to depend upon your parents for transportation. The government has already changed 25 hours of driving with your parents to 50 hours of driving. What more do they expect? Some people drive responsible and some don’t. Not everyone should be punished for reckless drivers, because there are reckless drivers at every age. I have a very strong opinon on this subject because I am 15 years old and in a couple of months i will be recieving my drivers license. I know that i will drive responsible so it is not my fault for those who don’t.

15 years old January 22, 2007, 1:43 pm

I think that it should stay the same becuase you can take like your little brothers or sisters to school and let your parents have some time alone if you get my drift!!!!

Michael January 30, 2007, 4:21 pm

i thin k they should lower the driving age

just another girl January 31, 2007, 1:39 am

Leave it where it is at and let the driving test determine weather they can drive. Wow! Now there’s a thought!

Jake February 13, 2007, 7:33 pm

i think just another girl is so rite… im 15 and very excited about getting it and i think they should wait til im 16 b4 they raise it… hehe

mikesiska February 14, 2007, 5:48 am

i say the law stay 16 because i am 15 and i know how to drive already i have been reading the drivers book and i understand that alot of 16 yearold drives cause more accidents but not all of the 16 yearolds so i say keep the law but if u change it make it so if you were born after 1992 and have everyone born in 1993 and up wait till 18 thank you

Ur face February 20, 2007, 4:53 pm

I think all these comments are stupid

but i also think that they shouldnt increase the age

********<(0).(0)>********* February 28, 2007, 1:56 pm

They shoud really lower the driving age if u dont you are crushing the dreams of others kids who want to drive. you crush thier dreams and hopes to drive.

United States President February 28, 2007, 5:05 pm

For one your comment is the dumbest thing that I have ever heard. They do not need to change the driving age however because teens need to get around and go to after school sports events and practices. For one all of you adults out here that are saying that it should be raised is just gay and needs to shut up because the only reason you are saying it should be raised is because you dont need to worry about it. If all you were about to be 16 you would be saying it should not be raised to. By the way there are many adults out there that drink and do drugs and stuff that are a lot more immature than most of us younger people. Even the ones that dont do that kind of stuff still can be immature.

laura February 28, 2007, 5:17 pm

15 is a good driving age

joe March 2, 2007, 1:11 am

I’m 14 living in the beautiful city of Montreal and I’m doing a debate for school whether to raise the driving age to 18 or keep it at 16 (in Canada). I was put on the raising the age team, and honeslty i find it won’t make much of a difference if we raise it because the most car-related deaths happen (in Canada) between 20 and 24 (136 deaths in 2003) . After the age of 24, the deaths drop dramatically , which is a good thing. So in conclusion, if we were to raise the driving age to bring down the number of accidents and deaths for the young adults, we would have to raise the driving age to 25. And obviously we would never bring it up another 9 years so the ” to much deaths between 16 and 18″ isn’t much of hard proof.

Kellie Smith March 5, 2007, 9:45 am

I do not think the driving age should be incread.

I think the learning age should be drecreased to 16 so the teenagers have more timre to learn how to drive. Then when they turn 17 they will be able to drive properly and hopefully safely.

They should also bring night driving and motorway driving into the learning for everybody no matter what age they are!!

I say the age should be 16 to learn and 17 to drive!!!!!!!

Someone March 8, 2007, 4:50 am

I read this and just wanted to stop by and give my opinion – I’m really not sure which side I’m on, because it seems I’m half and half. Some of the things I agree with, some things I disagree with, but I wanted to point out that it isn’t the age of the driver, but the maturity level. If a teen can prove that they’re a responsible, careful driver, then they should have the right to drive. This doesn’t mean I’m saying that 13 year olds should be allowed to drive, but around seventeen or so.
Just because some teenagers are immature and can’t prove themselves responsible shouldn’t make the responsible teens have to wait longer until they’re free to drive. Most people around 17 or so have jobs and might need to drive there, and same with school and errands. A parent can’t always drive them there.

But, this is just my opinion. Thanks.

nobody! March 23, 2007, 12:36 am

i think the driving age should b 17 or 18 cause wat if ur not mature enough?????????seriously…think about it!duh…….u might get in2 a car crash or something.if u think the driving age should b 15 or under….then ur seriously stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

haha March 30, 2007, 6:29 pm

i love the two comments-“learn how to spell ‘traveling’

then the other guy aucally tells him that its freaking funny…

joey April 3, 2007, 1:09 pm

i think that it’s sorta okay for them to drive… only that all these accidents.. more than 95% of them are because of cars or bikes and studies show that they are mostly 16 year olds… see what i’m saying.. so i’m undecided… i mean im just not so sure that they should have their drivers license at this age…


Sean Hogan April 5, 2007, 9:15 pm

i live in ireland across d pond. driving age here is 18 but dey want 2 raise it 2 21 i have 2 rite a debate dat d driving dat d driving age shud b kept as it is. dis is very hard. & ye’re crying over it been changed 2 18. count ur luck

responsible 18 year old May 7, 2007, 4:59 pm

Okay, so to those that want to lower the driving age. That is the dumbest idea ever! I live in germany right now, and having gotten my driving license in the states, i feel that its not that important. What should happen, is that the government should invest on coming up with better public transportaion. The buses here are on time, everyday. It is very convenient. No one worries about driving since there are buses every where, and are clean. Also, since the drinking age is 16 here, there is alot less drunk driving. Kids can depend on the buses to take them home. i do it all the time. I could drive if i wanted too, i just ahve to take an easy test, there is just no point. The driving age i believe should be raised to 18 in the states, and the cost to take the class, should be more expensive and the fines sheould be more severe. Thats the way it is here, and the people here do not complain. IT needs to be raised. and for all you under 16 year olds, you are dumb and immature, you will realize it when you get my age, which is 18. and for those of you who want it lowered below 16, ive never heard anything so dumb in my life, grow up, and think about it…….hard.

Mike July 3, 2007, 3:48 am

I dont belive it should ever be raised i am 16 and currently i drive a 2006 carrea Porsche and i havent got into a crash and that car nearly goes 200 miles/hour. I drive my mothers Bently around as well and she trust me so why dont others. Its perpostrious.I belive elders drive worse that 80% of teens and there a danger to everyone. Does this mean we limed the driving age to 18-60? no because that fucking stupid anyone that has a problem with it should go fuck off.Pardon the language but its purely obserd. I belive its more dangerous to use public transportation. And saying kids that have very wealthy parents dont deserve a car because the only do wrong in it my dad would buy me a lamborghini before he would buy his dad anything . At least 16 year olds can still see and hear and react properly.

Emy October 24, 2007, 5:28 pm

i agree. the legal driving age should be raised to 18. when your 16 you dont have enough maturity to be in full control of a moving vehicle. Teenagers get in more car accidents then any other age group and i believe that if the age to drive was raised, that would help prevent many more accidents from happening.

Dave November 7, 2007, 2:50 am

Emy, what does maturity an full control of a moving vehicle have in any relationship? There are responsible and mature teens out there who actually cares about their goals in their life. If you raise it up to 18, you wouldn’t even be able to drive to work, and cannot save up money for college. If they do not have any money, what would they do in order to afford for college?

mackenzie November 8, 2007, 1:16 am

I believe PA should not raise the driving age to age 18 because school buses will be crowded. Also teachers believe that there are more accadents when teens are 16, but adults have the same ammount of car accidents. This is rediculous to raise the driving age, i want my children to drive at the age of 16 because the more experience, the better.

danielle November 8, 2007, 7:22 pm

i agree i think the driving age should be raised to 21 and you should have to do two full years as a learner driver!
my friends sister was brutely killed this time last year and i think it is apalling! DO SOMTHING OR LOSE THE MATURE DRIVERS ON YOUR ROADS BY DRUNKEN BOY RACERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anonymus November 9, 2007, 5:26 pm

i defintally think that the driving age should be lowered to fifteen. i am almost 15 and i feel that i am mature enough to drive.i also live on a farm and drive anyways and i do fine.isnt it you have to pass the test??? if the kids are not good enough to drive they dont pass… so only the good and more educated drivers pass the test. SO tell me why we would raise the age??? we need jobs and buses cant take us all till where adults!!!!

Concerned Reader November 28, 2007, 10:17 pm

I’m also doing a term paper on this and I’ve seen some horrible statistics. Raising the driving age could actually save over 6,000 teen lives… so yes, I totally agree with raising the driving age!

P.S. I cannot even drive yet and I still think it is a good idea.

Nicole December 14, 2007, 5:35 am

I think that when people say that you are more “mature” at 18 for driving, that they are stupid. How does two years make you more mature? I agree that some teenagers drive crazy and act stupid and end up getting killed because of it.. But it is very unfair to the other teenagers that are responsible and want to have their license so that they can get jobs and stuff. Adults probably get in more wrecks than teenagers… Should they make the driving age 40 because of that!? The driving age should stay 16.

Carmellia December 30, 2007, 1:26 am

well in a way i agree wit everyone’s story except in louisiana you can start driving while you in high school. but some teens really do take advantage of that but me i am 16 and i do not drink or smoke and as far as driving i make sure that i have a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the car with me my mommy shes way over 21 believe me and she trusts me enough to let me drive to the mall by myself

16-year-old January 15, 2008, 3:51 pm

Okay, raising the drivers age would definitely not help. so what if there are a lot of accidents? if the drivers age was 18, then 18 year olds would have that many too. You are really underestimating the maturity of 16-year olds. I am 16 and I feel mature enough to drive. Why is it that we are considered mature enough to pick colleges and stuff to determine the rest of our lives, but we cant even do a simple thing like driving? 60% of those accidents are alcohol related anyway, so it is just certain stupid people.

Kylee January 20, 2008, 3:43 am

I am 14 years old and that just seems unfair to me. I have been looking forward to driving forever. This is not right sure some people are stupid and don’t drive carefully but there are some people who can think straight. If that is passed than that will affect me and you probally would not like it when most of your friends get to drive and you don’t until 18 that would be such a bummer. For two years living in that kind of agony. You may not agree with me but I know plenty of people who would.

Cory February 15, 2008, 12:11 am

I dont think that an entire generation of kids should be punished for a select few people who dont know how to control themselves. When these kids are going through drivers ed then the driving instructor should realize this and notify the parents as soon as possible. If the parents dont do anything about it then they can take the blame for whatever happens. I am fifteen years old and play for my schools basketball team and i think that it would be nice to be able to drive myself to practice without my parents having to drive me. Dont punish me for what other people did.

15 Year Old February 15, 2008, 1:48 am

I. Changing the driving age to 18 will reduce the driving fatalities and accidents due to immaturity and make our system more efficient by reducing gas prices, reducing emissions and insurance prices.

Fatalities and Accident Facts

In Between 1995 and 2004, there were 30917 fatalities in accidents that involved 15-17-year-old-drivers, according to a study by the Triple A Foundation for Drivers Safety.
Of those accidents one-third were the drivers themselves and the other two-thirds were the pedestrians, passengers, and people in cars that the teenage drivers struck
Just in 2003, there were 937 drivers just age 16 that were involved in fatal crashes. In those wrecks, 411 of the 16-year-old drivers died and 352 of their passengers were killed.
And in 2006, around 5600 people were killed just be drivers between the ages of 16-20
16 year old drivers are involved in fatal crashes at a rate nearly five times the rate of drivers 20 or older
In 2007, on average, two people died every day across the US in vehicles driven by a 16 year-old driver.
One in five 16 year olds will have a reportable accident within the first year.
Inexperience is the greatest cause of teenage crashes. Over half the teens (56%) if young drivers use cell phones, and 69% of drivers say that they speed up to keep up with traffic. And 10% of high school aged students that drive admit that they do not wear seatbelts, mixed with inexperience and too often mixed alcohol or drugs with driving making it a lethal combination.
By raising the age the minds of new drivers will be more developed and more prepared to face the life threatening risks that divers encounter behind the wheel. It will allow teens to learn and grow as drivers before they are released onto the roads alone.

Healthier Planet/ Economy
In just one year and annual cost of automobile crashes involving young drivers each year is 32 billion dollars!
By raising the driving age more people would use public transportation. Increasing the economy of the us.

Becca March 18, 2008, 12:43 pm

I’ll be laughing when they raise the age and nothing changes. You can’t define maturity with age. You a=either are mature or reckless, no matter what age you are. I am against the drving age, and stop hammering teens on accidents because not all of them are crazy lunatic drivers. WE need to drive because your fat asses complain about driving us everywhere.

so shut up.

Ryan March 18, 2008, 1:52 pm

^^^ Favorite comment in a LONG time.

rob April 20, 2008, 3:20 pm

i think this is retarded and if we change the law teens will then drive illegaly and get in even more danger then if they get their license at the age of 16

don lewi April 22, 2008, 2:44 pm


jaypennington May 1, 2008, 3:56 pm

i think 18 is a perfect age so a lot of these young drivers can have a chance to learn some damn responsibility and get over the whole drug and alcohol out of their damn minds

Chels May 5, 2008, 9:47 pm

i am not that old but i think the law should stay at 16 because the the teens of 2009 are getting more mature. we have responsibility and we are not all about damn drugs.

no one May 9, 2008, 7:13 pm

I believe that the driving age should stay at sixteen. It is true that people arent as mature as they will be when they get older but even if was raised to eighteen or twenty-one people would still be just as immature. Also just because someone is older doesnt mean they will be a better driver. Being a good driver has to do with experience not age.

A Dude May 18, 2008, 8:25 pm

I Think it should be raised to 18. The people are more matured and it’s a lot safer.

Brittany July 22, 2008, 1:33 am

Here in North Carolina we can get our learner’s permits at 14 1/2, and can get a license at 16.
I am 17 and currently have a permit.
As long as we are under 18, we have to have a learner’s permit for 1 year before we can get a license.
For the first 6 months of the permit, one can’t drive between 9PM-5AM. Then after those 6 months one can drive anytime.
Same goes for a license.
The person who we drive with when we get our permit has to be licensed in North Carolina for at least 5 years.
Before getting a permit, we are required 30 hours of Driver’s Ed (which is free, unless you fail out) and 6 (maybe 9?) hours of driving with an instructor.
We then have to pass a written test for the permit, and must do a driving test on the road to get a license.
A license has to renewed after a certain number of years years, and a test must be taken each time.

I believe this is more than enough to help someone become accustomed to the road. So why bother raising the driving age? Experience is experience. The ages of these so-called accident statistics would only change. It would 18-27 instead of 16-25, then when the gov’t saw it, they would only rally to push the age higher.
Teenager’s have more responsibility than it seems. Anyone who wants the age raised must not have kids. Or they’re the type of parent who won’t let their child take out the garbage without sunscreen.
I had a job that was 20 minutes from my house. My mom had to plan her week around my work schedule just to take me work. If I need to do something as simple as go to Wal-mart to exchange something (which is 15 mins. away) I have to find someone willing to take me. The reason I don’t have my license is just procrastination. But you can see that it’s quite a burden. Imagine how much worse raising the age the be.

Lisa July 30, 2008, 7:34 am

i have live in Germany for a couple of months now on a military base, with my family. I have a daughter that is 16, and she got her us license way before we got here. We are still not sure what the laws are here yet or if she can get her license here even if she has her American one. But anyway, she has been driving for a little more then a year now and is completely responsible. I trust her 100% she has never got a scratch on my car, and when i did not use it it was hers. Back on topic, i disagree with this i think that the driving age should be lowered to 16. My daughter worked hard to get her license, and i know if i was in her place i would want the same. Most of you said it yourself, if you were in her position what would you want?

amy November 11, 2008, 12:10 am

i am amazed at how dumb people are on this page. i have never seen so many spelling or grammatical errors in my life.

Ryan November 11, 2008, 2:46 pm

Like lowercase “i”s?

Shawn A. December 10, 2008, 10:06 pm

i think that our young americans should be able to rive at the age of 16 and shouldnt have to wait the extra year;its not fair to the young people because before the age was sixteen and now our going to make them wait? i say the age should be kept the same!!!

Amber February 2, 2009, 6:21 pm

I believe that they should lower the permit age to 15.5 that way when a teenager turns 16 they can drive to practice etc. Especially because my daughter is now home schooled and I don’t get home until her practice is ending. She has no way to get to practice and she is a pretty good driver. So I don’t see why she shouldn’t be able to get her lisence at 15.5.

people February 25, 2009, 7:43 am

i think government should raised to 21…..bcoz,teenager now are immature n causes so many accidents…

ME!!! December 7, 2009, 11:34 pm

Teanage driving age should definitely be raised a few years. An average of 2 to 3 people die everyday from adolecents being behind the wheel!! Its crazy and causes unecassary death!! Teanagers have VERY low impulse control, that part of the brain isnt fully developed until the age 25. I think the learners permit should stay the same though to give the teanagers a few more years of practice before hittin the road though.

im stupid December 14, 2009, 4:03 am

i say it should stay at 16 because raising it is not gonna do anything. it will just make them wait another two years. two years cant make u mature. i think its just plain stupid, idiotic, etc.

p.s. im only 12

Laura January 20, 2010, 2:05 am

i currently have my drivers permit. i got it in october and ive had it for almost 4 months. im always extremely busy with after school activities and dance, and im constantly hanging out with my friends. my parents get annoyed with me all the time when i wanna go out to dinner or to a movie or something. i cant wait until im 16 so i can get my license and leave my parents alone.

i consider myself a very responsible girl. but i think that if a 15 or 16 yr old isnt responsible that the parents should restrict them from driving. i dont think that a law should restrict people who are ready for their license.

Btich March 18, 2010, 7:09 pm

FUck All Yalls

girlgirl March 30, 2010, 12:59 pm

keep it at 16,, haha

joe namath April 22, 2010, 6:53 pm

i honestly think that teens shoud have the driving age stay the same it doesnt make a differene if they are older or not. A kid will still get their licens 2 years later they will be exactly the same.

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