We live in a world where technology controls our lives. We are constantly on our phones and computers doing everything from homework to texting to watching someone else play a game. We feel the need to respond to every notification we get, even while driving.
By doing so, we not only put ourselves at risk, but everyone around us as well. Young teens don’t understand how dangerous this is. This brings up the question: Should we raise the driving age?
Let’s look at the freshmen class at our school. Most of them are getting their permit (myself included) and beginning to drive. This scares me. There is a good handful of irresponsible freshmen that should not be behind the wheel.
In Wyoming, you must have your learners permit for 10 days and be 16 to get your actual license. They expect you to learn to drive well in 10 days. Compare that to the six to twelve months in every other state. Here, you must have your permit for six months with the same age requirement. On an unrelated note, Wyoming has the most fatal crashes in the country. Maybe it has something to do with inexperienced drivers on the road.
Not only are they putting their own life at risk, but everyone else’s as well. One mistake, such as looking down at the text they received, could result in a potentially deadly crash. Responding to their boyfriend’s text just became a grave mistake.
Seniors are not much better. They do not say “I shouldn’t do that,”. They say “I am a good enough driver to do that!” Next thing they know, they are in a ditch.
If the driving age was raised, it would give people time to realize that no matter how good at driving you might be, texting and driving is not safe. No text is worth your life. Unless it’s from your mother. If that is the case, pull over and respond. Don’t anger the queen.
Time gives people the chance to become more responsible. Freshmen are not the best when it comes to responsibility. Some of us tend to think that a game is more important than your homework. This kind of mindset is dangerous on the roads. Video games have made people not fear death. When you are playing a game and die, you restart the level. You can’t do that in life.
Music is also dangerous. Think about how long it takes you on average to find the perfect song. This is time that people spend with their eyes off the road. It only takes a second for something to go very wrong.
One minute you are singing along to “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, the next minute you are on the other side of the road with someone coming at you. Deadly mistake. Even finding the perfect radio station distracts you. Tip: Make a playlist on Spotify of all your favorite songs and hit shuffle.
The state does nothing to help. We are given a two-week course for Driver’s Education that is included in Lifetime Wellness, which is a requirement for all freshman. Nothing was learned. Most of what is taught strikes fear into us. If the age was raised, we would already be aware of the dangers and become excited to drive. Currently, we feel fear behind the wheel. We should feel excited that we are trusted while understanding the potential dangers.
In my opinion, teenagers at 15 do not have the maturity required for driving. It takes a lot of focus, quick thinking and patience. Our society is lacking in all three parts. The longer we wait before driving, the more maturity we have. Raise the age. Stay safe, MJ.