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The Driving Age Should Be Raised: Research Paper Proposal

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Getting a driver’s license is a huge milestone for a teenager and can be considered a rite of passage. In the United States the legal age requirement for a driver’s license varies from state to state. Many states have the minimum age requirement lower than eighteen. However, some states have raised the required age to eighteen. Some people argue those states that haven’t raised the age to eighteen are costing too many precious lives. The minimum age requirement is even lower for a driver’s permit. It is important to clarify that there is a difference between a driver’s license and a driver’s permit. A permit allows new drivers to learn how to drive safely on their own. The beginning driver is to be accompanied with a parent or a twenty one year old adult with a valid driver’s license. The time period one must drive with a permit depends on the state but, usually only a matter of months is required. If the permit is held responsible and no violations are obtained during this period, the driver is then eligible to take the exam to become a licensed driver.

Recently, there has been a demand to raise the driver’s license requirement up to the age of 18. To fully understand this debate, it is important to describe both sides of the argument. For those against raising the driving age they have many reasons as to why. When located in a rural area, transportation can be hard to come by easily. Train stations and busses are less common, making the way to commute mainly being in cars. For a teenager to get from point A to point B, whether it be school or a friend’s house, then they would need the ability to drive, especially when the child’s parents work full time. After many years of being their chauffeur, parents claim their teen having the ability to drive is a convenience to both their child and themselves. A mother named, Margaret Menotti, questioned “Do we really want our kids dependent upon parents for virtually everything until they go to college, can vote and serve their country?” (States Urged To Raise The Driving Age). If the child is attending school and is also employed then this makes the ability to drive all the more important. Teenagers wouldn’t learn responsibility without being able to drive and work a part time job during high school. It is important that kids learn responsibility at some point. Those against raising the age also argue every person is different, that no two minds are the same. Statistics may show teens are dying from accidents, but doesn’t mean their child will be irresponsible and too immature to drive. There are some teenagers who are more mentally developed than others.

Those that support the driving age being raised also have reasons as to why. Scientists believe teenagers aren’t mature emotionally or mentally enough to drive. Allowing teens to obtain a license brings many serious responsibilities and gives them the capability of facing deathly consequences which can either drastically change or take away their life. Facing these serious potential situations one needs maturity so they can handle driving correctly and safely. Teens are also in the most social stage of their life, more than any other age group. Point being they will have many distractions including loud music and over packed cars making them a hazard to everyone riding in that car and the other cars on the road. Teens are also more likely to be careless. They think that one text is worth risking an accident or getting to work on time is more important than safety. For a teenager, a seatbelt may be seen as an annoyance other than a safety necessity. All of these tendencies back up the actions caused by their underdeveloped mentalities. The leading cause of death for teenagers is car crashes. It’s saddening these unnecessary tragedies are caused by a rushed privilege. Mike Higgins stated it best, “ if they continue to lower the driving age then expect the fatality rate to increase”. When a teenager is killed in an accident the community acknowledges and mourns the tragedy. To what extreme do the numbers of teen fatalities need to reach to bring about action? It is a nation’s duty to ensure safety. Therefore, it is time that federal and state regulations enforce a higher age requirement to obtain a driver’s license. Removing the dangerous privilege that’s provided too early to teenagers must be done for the sake of the future.

Although the opposing side has more reasons, it is tragic to think that the benefits of teens driving override the negatives it comes with. Convenience does not override life. Raising the age for a driver’s license will make the parents’ lives more straining and also make the future teenagers’ life difficult for job opportunities and seeing friends. When looking at the issues the new regulation could bring, it definitely is worth prolonging the lives of teens across the country. It’s time parents stop burying their children. It’s time siblings stop losing siblings. It’s time friends stop losing friends. The time has come that the people stand up and make a change because the more time passes, the more deaths accumulate. If we keep ignoring the obvious solution to lowering teen deaths, then we are letting down humanity.

I’d like to add in my paper that every time I say teenager I’m meaning anyone below the age of eighteen. Technically a teenager is anyone nineteen and younger. In this case, I refer to those younger than the “adult” age of eighteen. I definitely need to research more about how teens are mentally underdeveloped. My whole argument seems the cause to raise the driving age is because they’re dangerous. With more research I can connect the dangers being caused my mental underdevelopment. I need to look up statistics of teen deaths. Those statistics will make my argument stronger. This can not only appeal to logos, but also pathos too. Pathos because it will really make the reader understand how truly sad all these deaths are, specifically, deaths of teens per year in the United States from automobile collisions. I remember learning car crashes was the leading cause of teens in drivers education I just can’t remember how significant that number is. I also need to find out the ranges of ages states allow licenses and permits instead of just stating they vary. Maybe the states with higher ages have proven to create safer roads with less accidents. I also need to research GDL’s (graduated drivers licenses) I would like to include that in my paper but, I don’t know enough to connect it with my paper. I know it’s proven to be safer than the permit to license process I just can’t say how yet. Maybe those have been helpful with lowering fatal car crashes. It could connect with my counter argument to make roads safer and for those that are against raising the driving age. I need to research more about the underdeveloped brain a teenager holds. I know that it doesn’t fully develop until 25 but, what part? What does this part of the brain have to do with driving? I also need to know if there are more reasons why people are for raising the age. For now, I only have that teens are too immature mentally and emotionally so they cause accidents and a lot of the times, death. I also would like to include my story of a horrific accident that my sister and I went through caused by us. My sister now has to live with scars on her face from two hundred and eighty six stitches surgically applied that night of the accident. No alcohol or drugs were involved just poor decision making and I think that will add an emotional impact on the audience and also provide a specific example how teens aren’t mentally developed to make such serious decisions needed for driving.

Argumentative point #1: “My teenager won’t become distracted they know it’s unsafe to multitask while driving”

They are in the most social stage in their life meaning more people in the car creating more distractions. This goes beyond noise from the packed car too. Teenagers care about what others think of them so they try to hold these high expectations and show off to impress their peers. Meaning if all friends egg on the driver to do a no stop or speed at an unbelievably high rate then the teens most likely will. With them being in the most social stage they also are most likely attending social gatherings or parties.

Older age groups have distractions like children but, they know how to prioritize the distractions while driving. For example, if a child is screaming for their bottle they have dropped a parent would pull over instead of reaching for it while driving so they have full attention on the road. Even if that means they’re a little later to their destination.

Teens are well technically equipped nowadays with electronics. They will prioritize the need to change “that dreadful song” that just came on the radio over their eyes being on the road. This also includes texting. A text from their crush is more important to read and reply to because they don’t understand the possible cause their action could bring.

More experienced drivers know what distractions can cause (an accident) so they avoid them until it is safe to address the disturbance. With the little experience a distraction becomes dangerous.

Argumentative point #2: Teenagers won’t be employed without the ability to drive to work

Parents and or older siblings can set up a schedule to see what days the teen would be available and then they can go into an interview with that schedule already set to where there won’t be any confusion.

Bikes are a great form of exercise and jobs close to home can be easily reached on one. If I’m walking distance that’s even better.

If there are no jobs in town if the teen is that determined to work they can do the old fashioned way of knocking door to door to mow, shovel, etc.

Teenagers could always make parents a temporary ride to work until they find a coworker willing to pick them up and drop them off after their shifts, which, of course, may cost the teenager some money.

From my understanding teenagers don’t have bills. When they have a car that’s what they work for. So without a car there’re no bills. If they have to pay their phone bill I’m sure they can work out some house work with their parents. Teenagers necessarily don’t need a job since they’re supported by parents.

Argumentative point #3: No two minds are the same. People develop at different rates, the teenagers that are mature shouldn’t lose out on a privilege.

This may be true but, just because a teenager may be deemed mature for their age doesn’t mean they’re mentally developed.

In order for scientists to declare the mind doesn’t fully develop until twenty five they would need every study they ever did while experimenting to confirm this.

Auto insurances drop your rate at twenty five. You can rent a car at twenty five. These aren’t coincidences. Twenty five, being the age one is mentally mature, changed other things such as the two I listed. So why isn’t the driving age being changed too? Twenty five would be too old to learn how to drive but, 18 is much closer to full mental potential than 2 years prior.

Argumentative point #4: if all these children have passed the curriculum and tests needed to drive then their accidents are caused by lack of experience and not underdeveloped mentalities.

I agree lack of experience does play a role in this but, we all can agree one acts differently when being watched. If a student is watched they will not be texting, they won’t be speeding, or driving drunk, etc. But, the minute they are handed freedom they will do things they were told not to do because they can’t comprehend as to why they were told. They know the reason why they were only taught a thousand times not to text but, they don’t understand it. They can’t understand it because their minds are under construction.

If we were to leave the permit age at fifteen or sixteen, depending on the state, then that teen would have 2-3 years of being watched as a driver. Making the “role play” of perfect driver becomes a habit. They would practice no texting, no speeding, etc. for 2-3 whole years. This gives them experience so those worried about the statistics of fatalities only going up a year can be at ease. Teens would have 2-3 years of experience with no bad habits. Of Course they could throw it all out the window once they get that freedom. But, much more unlikely than now where a teen is supervised for a set of months and then handed freedom which is their time to gain experience. Why not gain experience the right way? Being supervised.

Argumentative point #5: teenagers are more likely to drink and drive

Teenagers aren’t allowed to legally drink. So they are usually drinking in hidden locations meaning, not in public at a bar. Because they can’t drink in public or often besides at these “secret events” then they are more likely to binge drink.

Most parents disapprove of their teenager drinking so there goes their ride of a designated driver. Since the child is now drunk and fears getting in trouble they will still want to make it home so they don’t get noticed sneaking out. The most logical idea in their head is that shiny metal in their hand, their keys. They will think getting home is more important than risking their safety. But, if they were mentally mature they’d realize that way of getting home could mean never going home.

With licenses being looked forward to by a teenager they take advantage of the flimsy card and don’t understand the meaning it holds. It means you hold not only your life but, the other on the roads lives in your hands. That is one big powerful card to be entitled to.

Counter argument: Raising the age for a driver’s license could make statistics of fatalities to go down amongst sixteen year olds and could make it higher for eighteen year olds.

Refutation: By raising the license age and keeping the permit age unchanged then there would be a larger gap of a student driver with a permit. With a longer period for holding a permit they would be more experienced and drilled into practicing good habits as I’ve stated above I’m argumentative point number four, which would bring down the probability of a collision. Also eighteen year olds think differently than two years prior and will be in different social stage and place in life.

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GradesFixer. (2019, March, 27) The Driving Age Should Be Raised: Research Paper Proposal. Retrived February 27, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-driving-age-should-be-raised-research-paper-proposal/
"The Driving Age Should Be Raised: Research Paper Proposal." GradesFixer, 27 Mar. 2019, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-driving-age-should-be-raised-research-paper-proposal/. Accessed 27 February 2020.
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