Should Teens Drive at 16

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

When taking the driving test everyone is accessed on their ability to drive a car. The new student drivers also have to be at least 16 years of age. But should teenagers be allowed to drive at the age of 16? Although driving can teach many teenagers how to be responsible, a young minor should not be driving at the age of 16 because their brains aren’t able to fully process the difficulty of driving for many reasons. Some people may say that teens are fully mature and educated enough on how to drive, but teens really shouldn’t be driving for the following reasons, Teenagers at the age of sixteen aren’t able to properly make responsible decisions, which can lead to them ending up in dangerous situations. They are impulsive, and lastly most teens aren’t able to control their emotions as well as mature adults can.

This essay will consider some of the arguments that support teenagers driving at young ages, while giving various reasons of why teenager should not be driving at young ages such as 16. Since the 1920’s teenagers have been able to drive at the age of sixteen. It has mainly remained the same and hasn’t been developed further since the 1900s. “In 1921 Connecticut was the first state to allow someone at the age of 16 or older to drive accompanied by someone who had a legal license. Between the years of 1919 and 1937, 15 states passed laws allowing 16-year-olds to obtain a license. In the 1940s most states has officially approved the driving age to be a minimum of 16 years of age.”(Mackenzie 2016)

Later during the 1900’s “most states had introduced laws allowing graduated licensing. Meaning that a 16-year-old can take a driver’s license test as well as be allowed to drive, although not with teen passengers. Teens would be allowed to drive under adult/parental supervision and are normally not allowed to drive at night.” (Mackenzie 2016) Driving was mostly developed during the 1900s and there have been no other major changes that affect teenage drivers. Teenagers all around the world participate in ridiculous and reckless actions, yet almost 99% of the time they don’t acknowledge the danger that they might be putting themselves in. Why is that? Teenagers do not make knowledgeable decisions because parts of their brain that are involved in the process are not fully developed.

The American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry states, “Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents’ brains work differently than adults when they make decisions or solve problems. Their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex.” (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2016) This proves that teenagers actions are mainly decided by the uncontrollable amygdala, leading to irresponsible and sometimes illogical decisions. When the amygdala makes decisions teenagers can then get themselves or others. This can happen on the road or in other stressful situations.

The American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry also states that,“Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to: act on impulse, misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions, get into accidents of all kinds, get involved in fights and engage in dangerous or risky behavior. Adolescents are less likely to: think before they act, pause to consider the consequences of their actions and change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors” (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2016)

This statement proves that teenagers normally do not think/take the most responsible actions. They won’t take the time to process the dangers of a situations, and are more likely to act on instinct unlike adults who normally will act on thoroughly thought-out actions. In the end teenagers find themselves in dangerous situations that not only affects them but others as well. Teenagers are impulsive. It’s a simple and well-known fact that teenagers engage in silly and unreasonable behavior. They cannot control their impetuous actions. Impulsive behavior can be caused by simple things such as stress or peer pressure.

According to Professor Joe Magliano, “During the adolescent years, however, this brain region is still developing (Blakemore & Mills 2014), so adolescents may not be as effective at controlling distress during peer social exclusion. This likely contributes to engaging in risky behaviors to prevent being excluded by their peers.”(Magliano 2015) This quote states that since the brain is still developing, teens aren’t as affective controlling their emotions leading to impulsive actions. The need to fit in with others will influence teenagers to act differently and recklessly. As a result, minors will be pushed by others to drive improperly on the road causing harm to everyone including themselves. Migliano again states that,“Early adolescents were more likely to engage in risky driving when friends were present. Late adolescents were somewhat riskier in their driving when they were with friends.

The presence of friends had no impact on adults’ driving.” (Magliano 2015) This quote shows that because of peer pressure, teens are more likely to be impulsive on the road. It is even stated that this was the case with young teens, and the need to prove themselves to to other was not present with adults in the car. Despite stress and peer pressure being one of the major causes of impulsive behavior, they are not the only causes. Another source for impulsive behavior is ‘instant gratification.’ Instant gratification is when an individual has the desire to experience rapture by indulging in wild activities.“Teens experience a greater desire & need for thrill-seeking than any other group” (www.slideshare.net) This statement proves that instant gratification can be a cause for unthinking actions in young minors.

To conclude, stress, peer pressure and instant gratification, all explain why teenagers are impulsive. Teenagers are still at a young age where it is harder to control their emotions. When teens aren’t able to control their emotions, most times they will mix up signals because they are not able to fully process the meaning. Teenagers also have a tendency to take someone’s actions or word literally. “Adolescents aren’t good at reading emotions. Adolescents tend to label neutral or ambiguous facial expressions and tones as negative.” (www.slidershare.net) This quotation confirms how teenagers could confuse signals given by others because they cannot properly control their emotional responses.

Another factor is: adults are able to control their emotions in different ways than adolescents can. “There are real differences in an adolescent brain when they are in an emotional situation. Adults have the ability to reflect, while teenagers do not” (www.slidershare.net) This proves that teenagers process their emotions differently than adults. Young minors will not reflect on their actions like adults would, this might be because they are blinded by their emotions. Once again this is where the amygdala might influence the decisions a teen makes when in such situations. Although all these obstacles can occur, driving can educate teenagers of how to be independent and responsible on the road and in life.

Britney Rouse states, “Prior to getting their driver’s license, teenagers must rely on their parents or older siblings to drive them to school, work, sporting events or social activities. While most parents don’t mind driving their kids around from time to time, constantly chauffeuring teens and coordinating rides can become a hassle for busy parents. When teens get their driver’s license, they can be more independent from their parents and take care of their own rides.” (Rouse 2017) This proves that driving at the age of 16 will allow teenagers to become more independent. Many people believe that driving at the age of sixteen is atrocious because teenagers are too young and immature, but driving at the age such young ages can in fact increase responsibility.

When having the ability to drive one must learn how to look out for their and others safety. Teenagers have to learn how to be safe or they must face the corollary. (Rouse 2017) This proves that driving at young ages can increase independence and responsibility. While all this can be true, driving at the age of 16 can be dangerous because teenagers aren’t able to properly make responsible decisions, which can lead to them ending up in dangerous situations. They are impulsive, and teens aren’t able to control their emotions as well as mature adults can.

Despite millions of teens driving at 16, adolescents at the age of 16 shouldn’t drive because their brains aren’t fully mature and cannot properly acknowledge the dangers that occur on the road. Even though driving can teach minors the dangers, teens can’t make responsible decisions, they are impulsive and cannot control their emotions. Is it completely horrible for a teenager to be driving at the age of 16? No it isn’t, but because teens haven’t lived as long as others who have experienced the world more many people can be seriously hurt by the actions taken by teens on the road. Before allowing young minors to get their license and drive on the road, people should take this information into consideration and make sure that others won’t get hurt on the road because of reckless and irresponsible teenagers.

Cite this paper

Should Teens Drive at 16. (2021, Nov 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/should-teens-drive-at-16/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out