Should Legal Driving Age be Increased to 21?

I wrote previously about whether driving age should be increased to 18

I mentioned 4 benefits of increasing the driving age to 18, from 17, which include:

1. Cut the number of deaths.

The highest death rate for drivers is amongst the age group 17-25. If the driving age is increased there would a be a fall in fatalities arising from motor car use. This has a significant economic benefit.

2. Cut Congestion.

Less drivers on the road will reduce congestion and therefore, reduce costs for firms

3. Reduce Obesity

Driving encourages the population to become lazy and obese. If people can’t drive they will be forced to walk, use public transport and cycle. This will help lead to a healthier population, which in turn leads to less strain on the NHS

4. Young Drivers overestimate their skill

Young drivers, especially male drivers, are likely to overestimate their ability to drive at speed and in difficult conditions. For people of school age, there is often great peer pressure to drive excessively and in a dangerous way.

However, to be fair you could make quite a good case against raising the driving age to 18 or 21.

  • Disadvantages of Raising Driving Age
  • Is public transport good enough to provide an alternative?
  • Reduce mobility of young people can have an economic cost, e.g. firms less able to have a flexible labour market.
  • Lower demand for cars and therefore lower output in the car industry. (However, jobs may be created on public transport)
  • Denial of Freedom. – Not really economic argument, but, a powerful political idea.

39 Responses to Should Legal Driving Age be Increased to 21?

  1. Charles Guerrero February 20, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    I think thats absurd, the driving age should rise to 21 and 18. You are brainless, I have trouble getting in time for my jobs and school. The bus won’t even come in time for school. If I need to cycle earlier to get the bus more earlier, i need to skip breakfast or I have to wake up more early and not enough sleep and that is another way of being obesed.

  2. Charles Guerrero February 20, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    I mean shouldn’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. GV March 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    That is ludacris….obesity be decreased….everyone of every age has trouble with obestiy not only teenagers.

  4. sara March 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    this is stupid the driving age should be at age 11

  5. gonnabeastupiddoctersomeday March 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    i think the driver age should be 25 and above… but 25 and below could drive,but not on the road…

    it more of a responsible age that’s why

    teens are responsible but they are also ignorant and careless… they sometimes forget about seatbelts, speeding limit, don’t drive after drugs (cocaine, sleeping pills, any drugs with serious side effects etc) or alcohol etc. , etc., etc.

    old people over 50 and above are gradually getting slower and older, so there reflexes are just slow

  6. jimmy March 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    the thrid thing is crap cant like ummmmm lose weight walking everywhere

  7. achmedenijhaad April 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    welllllllllllllllllllllllll 11, 12, 13, AND 14 year olds cant see over the steering wheel or reach the pedals… much less drive. alone.
    DUNDUNDUNNNNN.
    dskgfnsdkagnklsgkslangkf.

  8. lucy April 4, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    i belive that if the driving age increases to 21 no one will be able to work! YES THERES BUSES but they are exteamly expensive! The age to drive has been 17 for a very long time so why now should it go up? Its just like the smoking age why did it go up its stupid its just since Gordon Brown became priminister everything has gone down the plug hole why should we have to listen? He doesnt have a clue and i personally think he should be out now!!

  9. lewis April 21, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    Driving should be kept at 17 as it gives teenagers indiepndance