Advertisement

Should the driving age be raised?

January 13, 2009|By TRAVIS BARTHALOW / Pulse Correspondent

The ability to drive a car is becoming more and more necessary as time goes on. Many people believe that the driving age should be changed from 16 and a couple of months (depending on which state) to 18 years of age.

While this might sound like a good plan, there are many people who disagree, myself included, on changing the age. There is one primary reason why I think the age should not be changed from 16 to 18: New drivers are able to learn things from their parents when something comes up while driving.

Driving is not the easiest thing to learn at first. There are many laws that a non-licensed driver would not know: small gadgets in the car that a passenger would not usually notice and assorted problems that are not easily taken care of without prior knowledge. All of these things, if not more, happen one time or another in the first two years of driving. Most of the driving in the first two years occur under parental supervision. When these problems do come up, not only are the problems taken care of, but the new driver learns first-hand how to correct it himself.

Advertisement

The idea of changing the law to 18 years of age might seem to have good intentions behind it, but really this would only cause more problems and more accidents. Though driving might not be hard for some, it still takes a little bit of time and instruction, whether asked for or just bestowed by parents, to really get the hang of it. Allowing teenagers to drive for a few years while they are still under the control of parents is very beneficial to the overall outcome of their driving in the near and distant future.

I sure would not want to see anyone, myself included, walk out of the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles with a new license and then head straight to college. It is almost terrifying to think about a teenager just starting his life and having to learn all the basics of driving by himself with no parental help or support. That is exactly what would happen, though, if the driving age was increased to 18.

So is it really a choice between 16 and 18? I think it is truly between being smart and safe, or being foolish and irrational.

Travis Barthalow is a junior at Heritage Academy in Hagerstown

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|