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CHICAGO - Taking aim at a longstanding rite of passage for 16-year-olds, an influential auto safety group is calling on states to raise the age for getting a driver's license to 17 or even 18.
Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research group funded by the auto insurance industry, acknowledged the idea is "a tough sell," but noted that car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

"The bottom line is that when we look at the research, raising the driving age saves lives," Lund said. He plans to present the proposal Tuesday at the annual conference of the Governors Highway Safety Association in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Not surprisingly, a lot of teens hate the idea.

"I would really be upset because I've waited SO long to drive," said Diamante White, a 16-year-old in Reading, Pa., who got her permit in July. She said learning to drive is a "growing-up experience."

Many parents agree. They also like not having to chauffeur their teens to school, sporting events and any number of other places.

"Do we really want our kids dependent upon parents for virtually everything until they go to college, can vote and serve their country?" asked Margaret Menotti, a mother in Uxbridge, Mass.

She argued that keeping teens from driving would only make them less responsible. Some parents also find it ironic that this conversation is happening just as a group of college presidents have proposed lowering the drinking age to 18.

Among other things, institute researchers have compiled decades worth of data from New Jersey, the only state that issues licenses at 17. Various studies have shown that the overall rate of teens killed in crashes in New Jersey has been consistently lower than in some nearby states.

One study from the 1990s found that the rate of crash-related deaths among 16- and 17-year olds were 18 per 100,000 in New Jersey, compared with 26 per 100,000 in Connecticut. Those rates, researchers said, have dropped even further since both states instituted graduated driver's license programs.

Graduated licensing, which has become the standard across the country in the past 15 years, requires teens to spend more time driving with a parent or other responsible adult before they go solo. Though these rules are sometimes difficult to enforce, many states tie these more stringent standards to declining teen crash rates.

More than 5,000 U.S. teens die each year in car crashes. The rate of crashes, fatal and nonfatal, per mile driven for 16-year-old drivers is almost 10 times the rate for drivers ages 30 to 59, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. Many industrialized countries in Europe and elsewhere have a driving age of 17 or 18.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080909/ap_on_re_us/driving_age
 

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What they need to do is IMPROVE driver education. The classes I went through and the test I took were a joke. I received my best training from my father driving on country backroads.
 

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If everyone raised the driving age to 18, in a few years people would want to raise it to 21. IMO, these fatalities exist because of inexperience behind the wheel. Raising the age of inexperience will do nothing. Besides, legislation won't solve anything that more involved parents couldn't.
 

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maybe if so many households didnt have both parents working full time or only one parent this could work. I know when i got drivers ed it was free at my school. Up here in New England I believe it costs between $600 and $1500 for drivers ed. 2 working parents can often barely afford that let alone a a teenager paying by themseves. need a car to work, need to work to get a car......
 

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OK so let me get this straight, the more someone drives, and the more experience they get the less accidents they cause. It said so right in the article, when the states increased the amount of 'practice' required to get their licenes they less accidents cause. Also 1 or 2 more years of driving on the roads help out a lot as well. What the h3ll would raising the age limit accomplish then? Everything would just shift a few years so then they will want to move the limit up even further. If they really want to reduce the number of accidents why not get rid of cars? Kinda hard to cause an accident when there are no cars. These people need to go back into their hole and stop trying to control everyones lives.
 

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It would be awesome if all parents took the time to properly train their kids how to drive, driving safety, and responsible driving.

They need to teach teens that when they are just learning how to drive to be extra careful as they lack the experience to get themselves out of sticky situations.

when I talk to teens esp. male teens they try to act as if they know what they are doing behind the wheel when often they do not, they hit 100MPH once in their crappy car and they think that they are a driving expert all of a suddenly. Act like traction control is for wimps as well as other safety equipment and even drive with no seat belt on with the idea of Im not going to crash because I know how to drive.
 

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I don't think teens should be allowed to drive. 18 should be the driving age.

I very begrudingly allowed my son to get his driver's license at age 16. But that was after a torturous sixth months under my thumb, making sure he was a safe driver. Also it was a bit of a reward for him keeping a 4.0 gpa for years on the trot. Were he not such a responsible young man at 16, I wouldn't have allowed him a license. His good grades in school and clean driving record helped out a bit on the insurance front too.

I think back to some of the stupid shenanigans I pulled behind the wheel when I was 16....
 

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I don't think teens should be allowed to drive. 18 should be the driving age.

I think back to some of the stupid shenanigans I pulled behind the wheel when I was 16....
I agree 100%. My daughter will have to prove that she's very responsible to get her license before 18. I was a COMPLETE idiot at 17
 

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OK so let me get this straight, the more someone drives, and the more experience they get the less accidents they cause. It said so right in the article, when the states increased the amount of 'practice' required to get their licenes they less accidents cause. Also 1 or 2 more years of driving on the roads help out a lot as well. What the h3ll would raising the age limit accomplish then? Everything would just shift a few years so then they will want to move the limit up even further. If they really want to reduce the number of accidents why not get rid of cars? Kinda hard to cause an accident when there are no cars. These people need to go back into their hole and stop trying to control everyones lives.
Has a lot to do with the maturity of the driver, given how males tend to not find any of that for a dew more years, or even decades....

Regardless of what people think about the required age, I could see a healthier public transit system in the US also helping, reduces the requirement for younger people to drive.

Then again, maybe if some parents didn't think that the State was responsible for looking after their child every second it might help as well.
 

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Why not just make the driver educational process better and the final test harder. Its a joke.
 

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Can't say I disagree with this, I am 19 now and have a good recollection of my driving progression:
Age 16 when I got my liscensce was full throttle everywhere along with kicking it sideways whenever possible
Age 17 Still attempting to race anyone next to you at a stoplight and continued topping out of vehicle on highway whenever possible
Age 18 The occasional stoplight "race" but more respect for people on the road
Age 19 More or less normal driver who just wants to cruise along ( Ok so maybe I do like to go to empty parking lots sometimes in the Mustang lol)

I can say that looking back I am very lucky to be accident free and ticket free as I was trying to be the second coming of Mario Andretti on public roads lol.
 

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Why not just make the driver educational process better and the final test harder. Its a joke.
You have to chuckle at this suggestion, Quickening. Can you see all the parents filling the DMV's across the nation? My kid's got ADHD. My kid's got a vision impairment. The test asks questions geared to 16 year-old white males; it's biased. We need testing accommodations! After all, I'm sick of bringing my kid to football practice (says the lady from Uxbridge, Massachusetts in the article).

God forbid people have to live up to strenuous standards.

Nah, I say dumb down the test so everyone's special and gets a driver's license. After all, it is a right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

Disclaimer: I took the mainstreamed history examinations as mandated by our very literate Commander in Chief's "No Child Left Behind." But I'm pretty certain that I did good [sic] with the U.S. Constitution questions.
 

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Then need to improve driver education. i remember when I was in drivers Ed the classroom portion was easy and the road tests were a joke. One road test instructor (I had him a few times) would make us drive him to different places so he could get his errands done. One time he made us go to a Verizon wireless store so he could get a new phone charger.

Also the maturity of the driver is a factor as well. I'm a safe driver and most of my friends are good drivers as well though I knew a few people that tended to drive like lunatics. I also live right across from a school parking lot so i do get entertainment once in a while from seeing stupid teen drivers trying to do donuts and powerslides in their Honda civic or some other FWD econobox, and other absurd shenanigans especially after a good rainfall or snow shower
 

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A harder driving test would be the best thing. If people actually had to know how to drive before they had their license, that would actually help save lives.
 

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If everyone raised the driving age to 18, in a few years people would want to raise it to 21. IMO, these fatalities exist because of inexperience behind the wheel. Raising the age of inexperience will do nothing. Besides, legislation won't solve anything that more involved parents couldn't.
100% True.

It's as much inexperience as it is age. A new 18 year old driver will be just as terrible as a new 16 year old driver who will be just as terrible as a new 37 year old driver.

The country needs REAL education and REAL training.

The one law I do like that many States have enacted is that a 16 year old can't drive with other non-relative kids in the car. Having your jackass friends in the car is a big distraction, and does lead to accidents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A harder driving test would be the best thing. If people actually had to know how to drive before they had their license, that would actually help save lives.
I disagree, in my home country written tests and road tests are way tougher than in NA and yet did not help to reduce fatalities. Usually you learn how to "jump the hoops" to pass the test, but realistically you don't drive like that in real life unless you are very conservative/non-agressive driver by nature. For any teen especially a boy with adrenaline at the peak it is hard to curb a craving for dangerous driving (me back in a days).

Unfortunately raising the age more likely will help, now the tables are turned and I look at my driviing "style" and understand better my parents and their fears and nagging.
 

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Raising the age to drive isn't the best way to handle a problem thats around howe er there is a problem that is that these teens are dying at alarming rates behind the wheel of cars.
I agree that raising the minimum drivers age is not a solution. This would just mean that instead of having a large number of 16 and 17 year old drivers getting into accidents 18 and 19 year olds would be getting into accidents.

The only real solution to this problem is to remove the driver from the equation. By eliminating the distractable driver and letting a GSP, magnetic computer based guidance system do the work we could eliminate lots of problems. There would be less accidents, less traffic, people could get place faster and there would be no more risk of innocent people dying at the hands of reckless drivers or drunk drivers or whatever.

An inexperienced driver will always make mistakes whether they are 16, 20 or 40.
 

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Wow did all the people on gmi forgot how to read overnight or what?

Among other things, institute researchers have compiled decades worth of data from New Jersey, the only state that issues licenses at 17. Various studies have shown that the overall rate of teens killed in crashes in New Jersey has been consistently lower than in some nearby states.

One study from the 1990s found that the rate of crash-related deaths among 16- and 17-year olds were 18 per 100,000 in New Jersey, compared with 26 per 100,000 in Connecticut.
It's a reduction of 30.8% in the rate of death from one state to another one!

Sure raising the age to 17 year old would not stop teen related accident, but there is still some older person who makes accident you know! And a 30.8% drop would be fantastic!

Yet I still think it's not a good idea, not because it would not help but because there could be better way's, like a temporary license from 16 to 17 where they could just drive with a parent in the car and only for certain hours: between 7:00am and 11:00pm for exemple to prevent teen from going to party with there parent car and coming home drunk, inexperienced.
 

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Better drivers' education is what is needed.

At least in over 4 years of driving with my license, I have a clean record.
 
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