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"Raise the Driving Age"

            Motor vehicle collisions continue to be a major public health problem resulting in a high incidence of morbidity and mortality among adolescents in the United States, despite legislative changes such as required seat belt usage and drunk driving regulations. Although the efficacy of driver education remains incompletely investigated, it appears that early licensure results in increased number of collisions, especially in teens licensed at an early age. Teenagers have not developed enough maturity, experience, or judgment skills to obtain a license at sixteen. Therefore, state legislators have the rightful purpose to raise the driving age from sixteen to eighteen. .
             In the past few years, especially in the spring and summer, we have been hearing more and more stories of the needless deaths of teenagers in car crashes. Frequently, the higher crash-rate is ascribed to factors associated with being young. A major part of the brain that is developing during adolescence is the part that deals with judgment, which is used in many different ways when driving a car. For instance, when driving on the interstate, the driver must use judgment to decide how closely to follow the car in front of him or her or when to stop when coming up on a red light. Sometimes these situations require spur of the moment decisions that a fully developed mind cannot handle. Driving an automobile requires making skilled and well-timed decisions several times a second. Such decisions are based on prior knowledge and driving. In fact, carelessness and poor decision-making are most likely the cause in the majority of these incidents. Teens are put at a greater risk of having accidents because under-developed motor skills cause them to react more slowly than people a few years older. From the age of sixteen to eighteen, there is a lot of development going on in the brain. A person under the age of eighteen may not be able to decide as quickly and make the wrong decision.

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