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.


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. I have to admit that I would like to drive soon as but if they raise the age then I will become more lazy and not feel like there is something to look forward to when am older and in the zone for driving. If they raise the age for driving I will in the future find it harder to attend earning money. Example: A job that pays well but takes energy and getting up in the morning and bussing or walking to where I would work, when I could get up in the morning and want to go to work because I can drive there and it would only take me 5 minutes or so as aposed to 20-30 minutes. What would an 16 year old do without being able to wake up in the morning or afternoon and driving to his mates place or to something social like the movies? Come on… Do we seriously want teens being and getting bored of life and it’s rules? I don’t know about you… but what if that WAS you?

  2. I think all of this is “absurd” you dont need to change the driving age because if you do you’ll probably just end up with more teens breaking the law and driving without a lisense. You should just make the tests harder to take so then you can give a lisense to someone that you feel confident will be focused on the road instead of on a cell phone or more concerened about what song is on the radio.

  3. Listen guys/girls, i think it should not go up, but obtaining a license should get harder, and alsio losing it should get alot easier…

  4. ok im a 17 year old and i have an apprenticeship that is 28 miles away and you expect me to catch 8 buses to get there every day
    my first point is that the driving age shouldn’t be changed but maybe give younger drivers less warnings i have never been pulled over i consider my self a good driver having never crashed or been done for speeding and i drive 7 days a week. my car is my means of transport without it ill loose my job i am sure i am not the only one like that

  5. second point is that changing it to 18 what other things can people do when they turn 18…. drink. explains its self

    and if you want more people on public transport make it better there is not enough trains and buses are crap i love driving because it means i can get out there and sure it may not be the friendly answer to the environment but end of the day as long as people can power their cars they are going to drive them

  6. No, they shouldn’t increase the age. because at the moment i am 15. that means I h ave wait for 6 years, if they change the legal driving age to 21.

  7. How is age a way of determining driving competence? You can be a shit driver at the age of 21, 31 or even 101.
    Driving tests need to be more relevant with more time spent on the roads gaining skills instead of pissing about with stopping distances which were probably written in the 60s and based on a Vauxhall Viva doing 40mph on a motorway.

  8. in my point of view hey should change driving 17 to 21 because ass you can see that such drivers are irresponsible of driving, youngsters at he age of 17/18 they all like o drink think the life is just 4 fun. drink and drive, not wearing seatbelts thinking that is cool not to wear it. the government should diffenetly increase it.

  9. 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.

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