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.