Should the Legal Driving Age be increased to 21?

There are arguments that the legal driving age is too low, and this causes an unacceptably high level of traffic accidents. Raising the driving age, would ensure young drivers are more experienced and less prone to rash judgements which can put other road users at risk. Arguments for raising the legal driving age 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.

Fewer 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, raising the driving age to 21 is rather a crude mechanism to raise some issues from young drivers.

Disadvantages of Raising Driving Age

  • Is public transport good enough to provide an alternative? People in rural areas will be at a disadvantage and struggle to travel to work and visit friends
  • Train travel is much more expensive than car use. Young people are already struggling with high rents and cost of education.
  • Reduced mobility of young people can have an economic cost; it would lead to geographical immobility and geographical unemployment
  • There are much better ways to tackle issues of pollution and congestion than raising the driving age. For example, using electronic-road pricing could better manage demand and congestion levels.
  • High traffic accidents amongst young drivers are a problem, however, a better solution may be to improve standards of driving tests and stricter enforcement of speed limits. People have to learn to drive at some time.
  • Lower demand for cars and therefore lower output in the car industry.
  • It is an arbitrary denial of freedom to choose.

Conclusion

Raising the driving age to 21 is not a good idea. There is a stronger case for raising the driving age to 18 (though as a compromise people could be learner driver from the age of 17.

35 thoughts on “Should the Legal Driving Age be increased to 21?

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

  2. 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

  3. 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!!

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