The current age at which a teenager can begin driving on their own is 16. Most teens take driver’s training before this and practice with their parents when they’re 15, but they can get a license at 16.
The problem is that 16 and 17-year-old drivers have incredibly high crash rates. They’re the highest overall age group. Even teens who are just slightly older, at 18 or 19, have a fatal crash rate that is only 50% as high as these youngest drivers.
From this information, it seems that it would be wise to move the driving age up to 18. This would eliminate a lot of fatal crashes and injury crashes, and it would make the roads safer for everyone. After all, a lot of those who are injured or killed in these accidents are not teenagers, but are older adults who share the road with them.
The reason that it may not work
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just looking at the statistics and removing the most dangerous drivers. You have to consider why they are the most dangerous drivers, and the reason is that they lack experience behind the wheel. They’re young, so they haven’t had time to build up this experience. That’s why an 18-year-old is so much safer — because they’ve been driving for two years.
What this means, though, is that moving the driving age up would just change the timeframe at which drivers get this experience, so it’s unclear if it would actually make things any safer.
You have options if you’ve been injured
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a teen driver, you absolutely need to know what rights you have to seek compensation for things like medical bills or lost wages.