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Drivers License Age Be Raised

             Should the age to receive a driver's license be raised and, if not, should graduated licensing be instituted? This is a growing question across America as well as other countries around our globe. The percentage of teenage accidents involving automobiles is on a constant rise. Whether caused by the lack of experience or under the influence of alcohol, death has become all too common among teen motorists. This problem is not going to go away by itself; action needs to be taken. The state must raise the age requirement to receive a license or institute graduated licensing because teens are not mature enough to handle the dangerous responsibilities of driving. We allow teens to get their licenses at an earlier age than in most countries, and little driving experience typically is required before licenses are issued. This is not very smart on our part considering that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16 year olds have the highest percentage of crashes-involving speeding, the highest percentage of single vehicle crashes, the highest percentage of crashes with driver error, and the highest vehicle occupancy (NHTSA ). Compared with older drivers, teenagers as a group are more willing to take risks and less likely to use safety belts. Many experts blame the young teens immaturity, impulsiveness, and lack of proper training and experience as contributing factors to the high rate of teen involved accidents. Teens don't need to be victims of there driving inexperience. During 1975-96 the death rate among 16 year-old drivers was trending upward. The rate increased from 19 per 100,000 in 1975 to 35 per 100,000 in 1996, and this increase occurred in both males and females. The number of 16 year old driver deaths increased about 50 percent during 1975-96 (from 362 to 547 annually) while deaths among 17-19 year olds declined 27 percent (CNN ). " Any way you look at it, 16 year-old drivers represent a growing problem,"" adds Allen Williams, senior vice president of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (CNN).

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