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Many studies regarding teenage driving have presented divers arguments presently and in the past. As much as many are against teenage driving, some support teenage drivers. Many teenager always dream of owning a car. In most developed countries many grandparents, parents, and capable members of the family are likely to buy for a teenage or even a young child a car. Some are usually presents offered in form of appreciation to the kid. This is why most teens strive to get behind the wheels without considering the consequences that may come with driving. It is apparent that many teenagers are usually inexperienced when it comes to driving. Nonetheless, many people support teenage driving as it helps when one’s car is broken down late in the night. This paper presents both sides of the arguments regarding teenage driving.
Argument against Teenage Driving
Teenage driving is not good and there is need to develop legislations that prohibit teenagers from moving cars on the American roads. To begin with, insurance companies consider it as a risky undertakes to provide cover for cars driven by the teenagers (Schultz, 2010). This kind of fear emanates from the doubts the insurance companies tend to have over the teenager bearing their judgmental abilities. Insurance companies assume teenagers to have poor judgmental power and can make wrong decision to cause avoidable accidents (Schultz, 2010). This fear makes insurance companies charge high premiums on car driven by teenagers, and this becomes expensive and unaffordable to some families. However, insurance charges for cars driven by teenagers tend to vary with school grades of the particular teenagers. Insurance premiums charged on bright students who obtained good grades in schools are likely to be lower than their counterparts who obtained low grades. This kind of treatment of teenagers wanting to drive is discriminatory and constitutionally unexpected. It would be better to prohibit teenage driving instead of exercising discriminatory favors extended in lines of academic performance. This criteria used by insurance companies of charging low premiums on teenagers who have good grades is dismissive and misleading. There some teenagers who may have low school grades but have excellent physical and judgmental ability that can enable them manage car on the road.
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Another reason why teenagers should not drive relates to high risks of teens to involve in fatal accidents. In facts, statistics confirm that accident caused by teen drivers consist the greatest percentage of accidents reported in America. According to statistics of CDC (2012), seven teens died every day from road accidents tat majorly involved ten driving in 2010. CDC (2012) adds that per every mile, teenager drivers in the age bracket between 16 and 19 years are thrice likely to involve in fatal car crash than those above 20 years. Road carnage statistics gathered in 2010 indicates that 2700 teens between 16 and 19 years died in road accidents where drivers were teenagers. Besides the deaths, about 282000 of teenagers suffered serious injuries from car crashes that necessitated their admission in emergency departments.
The fact that teenagers are young members of society and who have little life experience is enough to disqualify them as drivers. Compared to the older drivers, teenage drivers are likely to underestimate dangerous situations on the roads. They also have poor cognitive ability that impairs them from rightfully recognizing dangerous situations. Furthermore, teenagers exhibit behaviors that demonstrate carelessness and low precaution. For example, most teenagers do not consider fastening of seat belt as a safety measure when driving in a car. CDC (2012) confirms that research conducted in 2011 to determine frequency and circumstance when teenagers fasten seat belts, 54% of the participants reported to have fastened seat belts only when riding in a car with an adult. This means that when left alone to drive car on the roads, teenagers will be at high risks of perishing in case of an accident.
As young members of the society, teenagers are usually at their late stages of development and tend to learn many things. Teenagers are usually very curious and tend to try many things irrespective of the dangers attributed to their practices (Plotnik & Kouyoumjian, 2011). Leaving such individuals to drive is very risky since they will be in their continuous process of learning. They will try doing many things on the board of car when driving to in bid to learn how the car operates. This has seen teenage drivers over-speed and make emergency breaks even when not necessary. Some also consider driving as games where they try various skills through dangerous and unsafe practices.
Since teenagers are in the developmental process and have interest to know many, they become vulnerable to distractions (Plotnik & Kouyoumjian, 2011). This means that teenagers need to respond to almost everything happening in thir environments. When alone on the road, distraction may come from road signs, pedestrians or even commercial billboards that can carry away their concentration to forget about the crucial responsibility at hand. When with other passengers in the car, distractions to teenage drivers may result from stories and charting that may demand for their contribution. Moreover, distraction for teenage drivers may result from phone calls or messages sent on the phone. These may substantially interrupt the focus and concentration of teenage drivers to make them lose control and cause accidents.
According to Sifferlin (2012), adolescent defines a stage in development when a chemical substance known as dopamine produced in the brain very active. Sifferlin (2012) explains dopamine is usually responsible for strong desire for pleasure and enjoyment as manifests among youths and teenagers in particular. Dopamine sometimes tends to be very strong to surpass ability of teenagers to control their desires. Combined with the general poor ability to respond to impulse, dopamine usually makes teenagers involve in reckless practices like drinking of alcohol and desire to show off their level of knowhow. When allowed to drive, drunk teenage drivers will obviously involve in fatal accidents. The desire to show the level of knowhow can also make teenage drivers exceed the legal speed limit and cause fatal accident. The need to demonstrate high level of knowhow can also make teenagers to move keep very small interval with the front car. Desire for pleasure can also make teenage drivers raise the volume of music in cars to impede them from hearing hooting from other cars. This can result to poor road communication and response that can lead to accidents on the road.
Another reason why youths should not drive relates to their exposure to strong peer influence. In many cases, peer influence have forced youths into drinking and abuse of drugs and related substance. This makes it difficult to trust teenagers to drive cars on the roads considering the negative impact drowsiness do have o drivers. Another reason why teenagers should not drive relates to their rebellious nature (Baumeister & Brad, 2011). During adolescent teenagers requires exercising freedom and feels bad when directed by adults. This means that teenagers are also less receptive to traffic rules and highly vulnerable to make wrong decisions on the road.
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The weak nature of muscles of most teenagers is another reason as why they should not drive. Weak muscles are likely to become tired within short time when committed to serious work like driving. When tired, teenagers usually become drowsy and may need to or begin to sleep while driving. This poses a very serious risk to the teen drivers making them unfit to drive during night or early in the morning. Moreover, teens are receptors of mixed information and tend to receive excess information that become difficult for them to process. To process the complex and numerous messages, teenagers requires a lot of time. This means that teenagers will continue processing the information even when driving, a practice that can compromise their concentration on the road and expose them to accidents (Baumeister & Bard, 2011).
Arguments for Teenage Driving
There are numerous reasons for supporting teenage drivers on the roads. Many teenagers are blessed to own a car at a very tender age and this pushes them to strive and get behind the wheels. In terms of eyesight, teenagers have greater eyesight compared to the old experienced drivers. The great eyesight helps them to see small things from far that may have been difficult for older person to see. This allows them to avoid some cases of getting involved in accidents. Additionally, young people have better reflexes that are remarkably essential for quick response in case of anything. Better reflexes allow young people to respond quickly to braking. It is noteworthy that eye examination is mandatory, and any corrective eye ought to be brought to the examination. Driving using glasses is also recommended, but young people without eye problems are better placed in terms of good eyesight. In most cases, some driving licenses read, “Needs to wear glasses while driving.” This is not a guarantee for the old, experienced drivers to see the blind spots (Baumeister & Bard, 2011). It is essential to wear sun glasses where necessary. Many old people are prone to forgetting their glasses and that makes them vulnerable in the roads while driving.
Teenagers are extremely flexible and are likely to very quick decisions while driving. For instance, a teenager will easily make quick informed decisions as compared to many old and experienced drivers. Teenagers stand a chance of not forgetting about the basics of driving since their minds are still fresh. Many opponents of teenage drivers argue that it is necessary to raise the driving age to avoid accidents caused by teenage driving. It is vital to raise the age; however, raising the age is a way of punishing young drivers for the misstakes of very few of their peers. People must accept that not all youthful drivers are behind the numerous accidents on most roads. This is why before accusing a teenager of causing an accident; people must uphold the principle of “Innocent until proven guilty.” Many people demanding the raising of driving age label teens guilty without determining whether they are guilty or not. Many teens are extremely careful and this can be attested to through numerous experienced drivers who began driving at their teenage and have never been involved in accident whatsoever. So, it is not right for people to subject all the youths to a problem they have not committed. It is important to allow everyone a chance to step into a car and determine whether they are capable of driving well. Having the ability of the youths taken from them merely because of their birth date is not the right thing. Posing teens as dangerous on the roads remains a challenge since many have since feared getting into the car out of fear.
Those opposing teen driving base their claims on the statistics, which indicate that teenagers are more likely to get into accidents than adults. Conversely, they fail to indicate that a very high percentage of adults also cause accidents. Many adults presently believe that they can drive without even going for the driving courses. This is a major blow to many people who believe that teenagers are the wrongful people. Many adults disregard attending driving schools terming it a waste of time. This is a recipe that causes huge number of accidents on the roads. Some contend that women drive slowly and they are unlikely to cause accidents; however, many women when faced with abrupt incidents that require urgent decision making succumb to pressure. This sluggishness in making prompt decisions attributes to numerous women causing accidents. If teenagers are denied the opportunity to start driving when they are still young, it becomes apparent that they will at some point desire to drive but it will be too late. Human brain operates in a manner that will allow an individual to only master some things when they are young. This is why raising driving age or stopping the teenagers from driving is likely to cause numerous challenges to the lives of most youths.
Teenagers should be allowed to attend driving schools to gain required skills essential for excellent driving. Increasing the driving age is unlikely to save lives of people on the roads. Proper education on the significance of going to driving school is the only way to address the problem of having many accidents on the roads. Raising the age limit will push many people to go to below standard driving schools that are only interested in making money. Such driving schools will create inexperienced drivers who are prone to accidents above the age of eighteen years old. One of the most effective programs is the graduated driving license (GDL) system that allows teenagers, apprentice drivers to polish their proficiency before earning full driving privileges. Everyone will agree that teens need the ability to drive just like anyone else. The driving experience will help them get to school, to work, go for outings or sporting activities and many other areas (Baumeister & Bard, 2011). This is why cars are required for mobility in all nations and discriminating against the age that should be allowed to drive is a thereat the youths. It is a way of disrupting the lives of many teenagers without an appropriate reason.
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Finally, it is right for teenagers to obtain driving licenses. The experience of being a new driver is usually good and many youths enjoy. The best program is one that demands for a graduated driving license (GDL) system that allows teenagers, novice drivers to sharpen their skills prior to earning full driving privileges. It is essential to introduce teenagers to driving in low-risk situations and lifting the restrictions to grant them greater responsibility. This is the most effective way of ensuring that most teenage drivers become competent. Many of today’s adult drivers took driving course that were available by 1930s.the deliberations above attest that teens are receptors of mixed information and tend to receive excess information that become difficult for them to process. Conversely, for teenagers to process complex and numerous messages, they requires a lot of time. This means that teenagers will continue processing the information even when driving, a practice that can compromise their concentration on the road and expose them to accidents.
To this end, it is essential to change the policies and the structures of driver education to meet the demands of technological advancements. Many teenagers with technological knowhow are likely to use a data-driven and research based driver education program to become excellent drivers. Improved or updated driver education in conjunction with the graduated driving license system, will likely help in reduction of numerous tragedies witnessed on the roads presently rather than placing blames on teenage drivers.
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