The Driving Age: to Be Raised to Twenty-One

Essay details

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Fatalities and Alcohol
  • Car Insurance
  • Conclusion


In the United States the legal age to acquire a driver’s license is 16 years old. The process of gaining the ability to drive on one’s own starts at the age of 15. In Illinois in order to pass the driver’s license test you need to first have had a learners permit for nine months, to acquire a learners permit you need to have passed a written exam. Then you can take the test to try and get your license. You can bypass taking drivers ed by waiting until you turn 18 and then taking the test to try and receive your license. The question at hand is whether or not the legal driving age should be moved up from 16 years old to 21 years old. The legal driving age should be moved up for multiple reasons. Teenagers are not mature enough to be able to drive at such a young age. By moving the driving age up it would significantly decrease the number of driving related deaths, also if the driving age is raised then it would lower the cost of insurance for families.

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Fatalities and Alcohol

The highest death rate for drivers is amongst the age group 17-25. If the driving age is increased there would be a fall in fatalities arising from motor car use. This has a significant economic benefit. Also among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2016, 32% were speeding at the time of the crash and 21% had been drinking. In addition In 2016, 15% of drivers aged 16 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of .08% or higher. Teenagers can be very reckless when they are given so much freedom at such a young age. 16 year olds especially believe that they will never get caught doing illegal activities therefore they behaved recklessly and they not only put themselves at risk but they put the people around them at risk. At the age of 16, children are now inclined to drink and do other illegal activities because they’re going to have a car that gives them the freedom to go out to party. You also have to bear in mind that in some places like Urbana, Illinois they allow kids to drink at 19. These kids are new to driving and when you mix alcohol with an inexperienced driver, bad things are bound to happen.

Car Insurance

The age of the driver has a huge impact on the cost of car insurance, the younger the driver is the higher the risk it is for the insurance company to offer you coverage. When teen drivers are added to their parent’s automotive insurance, the price of a policy drastically increases. As of 2017, the average annual rate quoted for a teen driver in the United States is $2,267. Just by adding one teenage driver to the existing policy adds over $600 to the car insurance rates. By raising the driving age, parents are allotted more time to show their child how to be a safe and responsible driver. Also the older the child families are eligible for additional discounts to reduce this financial impact. Even teens who maintain a clean driving record in the 15-19 age demographic face significantly higher auto insurance rates because they are four times more likely to be in a crash when compared to older drivers. Since rates don’t start to decline until the age of 25, changes to how licenses are issued will be beneficial to everyone.


To conclude, by raising the driving at to at least 21 children are given more time to prepare for the huge responsibility that driving entails. At times it may seem frustrating because teenagers may see themselves as adults, but they’re still minors and they have to earn the privilege of driving.

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