It is undisputed that driving safety is an issue for teenage drivers. More than 5,000 U.S. teens die each year in auto accidents, and the rate of crashes for teens is almost 10 times the rate for drivers aged 30 to 59. But what do we do about it?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research group funded by the auto insurance industry, intends to present a proposal today to raise the driving age from 16 to 17 or even 18. The president of the association knows that it’s a tough sell, but noted that car wrecks are the leading cause of death among teenagers.
The industry point to New Jersey, the only state with a 17 year old driving age, for support. Various studies have shown that the overall rate of teens killed in New Jersey has been much lower than in nearby states.
But not everyone agrees with the proposal. Many teens are obviously against it, as are some parents, who also enjoy their teens new freedom. And even safety experts wonder if this focus will take focus off other driving dangers, such as drunk driving.
So readers, what are your thoughts on the proposal?