Report makes a case for raising driving age
Seems report after report is recomending that the US should be more like Europe! Just two weeks after a group of college presidents called for lowering the drinking age to 18, a report released today is calling for the driving age in the US to be raised from 16 to 18.
In continental Europe the drinking age is usually 16 and the driving age is usually 18. Europeans are often perplexed that the US allows teenagers to drive so young, five years before it will allow them to drink a beer.
Sixteen-year-old drivers are the most likely to crash, so raising the age at which teens could get their license would save many lives, a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says.
Currently, the age at which teens can drive unsupervised ranges from 141/4 in South Dakota to 17 in New Jersey. Most states allow teens to drive unsupervised somewhere between 16 and 161/2, a standard set at the beginning of the 20th century, when society was more agrarian, the report notes.
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Some opponents of raising the driving age argue that it would simply delay deaths among young drivers, because inexperience, not immaturity, is what leads to their high rate of fatal accidents, says Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research group funded by U.S. automobile insurance companies. Lund acknowledges that teasing out the effect of inexperience from that of immaturity is tricky.