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Getting behind the wheel may seem simple and easy to learn, but one can get life-changing results if one is not careful. Every day a teenager learns to drive a car. Many people think that teenagers are simply not ready or have the skills to drive. ‘In 2012, 60 percent of those killed in 16-19 passenger vehicles were drivers’. The teen driving age should be increased in all 50 states. In addition, as the elderly begin to grow older they become more dangerous. Adults 60 years of age and older may need to repeat the driving test to prove that they are still acquiring the skills needed to drive a vehicle. Teenage drivers are considered irresponsible, incompetent, and unprepared. One of the major problems today is unsafe driving. Statistics show that teenage drivers do not have enough experience to drive every day. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. This is a big problem among teenagers today. According to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, ‘in 2013, 2,163 teenagers aged 16–19 were killed in the United States and 243,243 were treated in the emergency department for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents.’ However, this figure seems to be below, and the CDC presents this figure in an alternative statistic. ‘That is, six teenagers aged 16–19 die from motor vehicle injuries every day.’ From this data, one can conclude that teen drivers are the most unsafe drivers on the road. The driving age should be reconsidered and increased from 16 to 18.
Some argue that raising the driving age would be wise. Research has shown that teenagers are not mentally ready to drive at a young age. ‘New discoveries by brain researchers at the National Institutes of Health explain why attempts to protect younger drivers for the first time fail. Weak link: the so-called’ executive branch ‘of the teenage brain – the area that weighs risks, makes judgments, and controls impulsive behavior’. This research reveals that it is best, especially if the stimuli of teenagers are not fully developed.
Mental development is one of the two major factors contributing to automobile accidents in young people. Another factor is texting and driving, which is becoming an increasing problem. This problem, although common in teenagers, is common to all adults. According to a Huffington Post article, ‘Nine, the number of Americans killed each day in motor vehicle crashes, is involved in distraction driven by cell phone use, texting or eating.’ Other research and data show that teenagers are not as patient as waiting to respond to a text message while driving. “Five seconds is the average time your eyes go off the road when texting. When traveling at 55 mph, this is enough time to blindly cover the length of a football field ”. In these 5 seconds, anything can happen. Drivers may unexpectedly switch to oncoming traffic, attack a pedestrian, or kill themselves when distracted.
Although many teen drivers like to have friends in the car with them, this can be another distraction. ‘In 2011, 933 passengers died in a crash with a teenager behind the wheel ‘. This data shows that teenagers can be distracted by having multiple passengers in the car with them. In addition, this distraction can be fatal. ‘Two or more fellow passengers on the wheel are more than three times more likely to have an accident with a teenager’. One of the reasons teens face death with car occupants is the disruption they can cause. For example, some passengers may draw attention to inappropriate things while driving their friend’s vehicle. For example, if your friend sees something interesting on a billboard, they may distract the driver.
While some teen drivers are irresponsible, some teens are still very trustworthy. In an online article, Climbs Journal provides an example of how some teens are responsible drivers. ‘Energy insurance analysis of teen driving data has found that the number of teenagers killed in car crashes has dropped dramatically over the past several years.’ The article continues with additional information supporting the insurance company’s claim. “A review of data from the Highway Safety Insurance Company on the number of teenagers killed in accidents while driving a teenage vehicle showed that 4,216 teenagers died in such accidents in 2007, compared to 2,142 deaths in 2013. This is available in the total number of teen drivers who died last year. And passengers ”. Based on this data, it is reasonable to conclude that many teen drivers are ready to drive.
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