UK Set to Raise Driving Age to 18. Should the U.S. Follow Suit?

Adrian Imonti
by Adrian Imonti

The UK is about to deny 17-year-old drivers a full driving license until they're 18. Restrictions during the new, probationary period would include motorway (highway) restrictions and a zero blood alcohol level. Research by the Department for Transport claims the changes could save up to 1000 lives each year. The Times says the move would also bring Briton into line with the majority of other European Union member nations. Americans might take a cue from their English cousins. Most U.S. states issue licenses to 16-year olds; South Dakota allows 14-year-olds behind the wheel. American teens currently account for their unfair share of automotive death and destruction. During 2005, drivers aged 20 and below were roughly 250 percent more likely to get in an accident than the national average. Their chance of a fatal wreck was twice the norm. In fact, car accidents are now the leading cause of death for American teens.

Adrian Imonti
Adrian Imonti

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  • SLLTTAC SLLTTAC on Aug 11, 2007

    When I took my first Accident Avoidance Course at Summit Point Race Track in West Virginia, I noticed that my 17-year old daughter drove cautiously while the teenage boys in our class drove hard and fast. (Most of the students that Saturday were dads with their offspring.) I do favor making 18 years of age the minimum age for a driver's license as well as requiring instruction at a school with a wet skid pad.

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Aug 13, 2007
    In my experience, most kids who get a job to get a car find their paycheck consumed by the car. While the work experience is probably somewhat valuable, overall it seems like a pointless exercise. Yeah, it is pointless, except for learning how to be responsible for your own schedule and earn your own way by working for it yourself. Completely pointless...
  • Matt47 Matt47 on Aug 15, 2007

    How are younger people going to learn if the driving age is raised? I think it is a further disgusting attempt to discredit younger people and their abilities. As is common, I think that it is a small minority sppoiling it for the rest.

  • Haydenlloyd Haydenlloyd on May 10, 2008

    You dont need to talk about after-school jobs. many 17 year olds have full time jobs, and surely restricting their driving is restricting them from certain jobs? i can only see this as highly unfair and ludacrously un-thought through