- Probably not the best 1st car for a brand new driver

Why Americans Can Drive At 16 And Why It Should Stay That Way

Well, actually Americans can drive at 15 and get their license at 16.

9w ago

We all remember that magical moment when you pass your driver's test and your brand new, hot-off-the-press license gets handed to you. Heck many of us car enthusiasts can probably remember the very first time we turned the key and stepped on the gas. But what we probably remember the most is when our parents hand us the keys to our very own car!

I was smart and took both the driver's safety test and the drug and alcohol test before I turned 15 so that I could get my permit on my 15th birthday. I missed some of school that day so that I could drive as soon as possible. I remember going with my dad after school to a church parking lot so that I could drive for the very first time! Fast forward a year and I was super stressed out about taking my driver's test in the pouring rain. But thankfully I passed with flying colors! Once I got home from dinner I opened my presents and one of them was the keys to my car! I was so excited that I could finally drive on my own! It was a memory that I will never forget! But enough about me let's move on to why Americans can drive at such a "young" age.

Why Americans can drive at 16

Did you know that 18 is the minimum age to drive in 78% of countries all over the world, however in the US, people can hold a full license from just 16? That's one of the many amazing things about America! Although the age varies between states with some being able to drive at 14 years old! So why can Americans drive at 16? According to Letsrun.com, "It has to do with physical maturity. In general, a 16 year old is physically just as capable of driving an automobile as an 18 or 21 year old. On the other hand, a 16 year old is not physically as capable of metabolizing alcohol as an 18 or 21 year old."

Why Americas driving laws makes more sense than other countries

In England, 16 year olds can legally dink but people can't drive till they're 18 which is incredibly dumb. It is a proven fact that 16 year olds aren't able to metabolize alcohol as much as someone who is 21. However, someone who is 16 is just as qualified as someone who is 18 or 21 to drive because they all start from zero experience. So the main issue here is that people that are still in high school and drink alcohol but can't drive!? Many teens like to drink at a young age and having a low drinking age will cause young people to become alcoholics. How do I know this? I know someone in England that had a drinking problem before 16 and now that she is 16 she has gotten drunk multiple times. So that means that people who are constantly getting drunk because they are legally allowed to drink are also just learning how to drive in countries like England.

If the driving age in America was raised to 18 that means that new drivers would get 2 years less of driving experience. When people start driving at 16 or 18 there is no difference in their ability to drive which is almost none. We all start out driving with the same experience level no matter the age. Also, many teens my age (16) have jobs including myself. If the age was raised now all these 16 and 17 year olds can't go to work without someone taking them to work. Another reason why the age shouldn't be raised is that America is a huge country not some tiny island like England where you can walk or bike literally anywhere.

If you thought that I was done, you're wrong. High schools in America are massive and can have 1,000 students to over 100,000 students! Now if the driving age was 18 how would all those high schoolers get home? Would there have to be over 10,000 cars sitting in the parent pickup line waiting to pick up their kids. It would make no sense to have such a high number of parents waiting when the driving age should be and thankfully is 16.

Economical Standpoint

Fast-food restaurants love teen drivers because they are always looking for a fast meal and not very concerned about their eating habits yet. If the age was to be raised to 18, the fast-food industry would lose billions of dollars by losing millions of customers.

Insurance companies would also take a big hit because they will lose millions of customers and cars to insure because 16 and 17 year olds won't be able to drive. Due to their massive losses, they will have to raise their rates so that they can stay afloat making it more expensive for drivers to insure their cars.

Thankfully America is smart and the driving age is 16! If it was 18 we'd all have to go through a lot more pain just sitting and not being able to go places. Many places would lose employees and customers if the driving age was 18. Overall, remember when you got your first car at 16 and how happy you were. You wouldn't want that to be taken from people my age.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you think in the comments! :)

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Comments (97)

  • im 16 in 2 weeks 👀 im super excited

      2 months ago
  • I agree, although I think our driving test is too easy. I practiced driving very thoroughly and seriously because my dad is British and their driving test is harder. It’s kind of concerning that after months of practice, the final test can be passed with minimal experience behind the wheel. I didn’t even go near a highway and my test wasn’t more than 10 minutes long...

      2 months ago
    • But it is very stressful and test if you can handle stressful situations

        2 months ago
    • I didn’t think my test was stressful, but I’m sure they vary a bit based on location, weather, etc.

      This was how my test went:

      -Show you know how to use indicators

      Read more
        2 months ago
  • When I turned 16 in 1983, I got my license on my birthday and hit the road that day with zero restrictions. That was a dumb move by the government. Fortunately many states are imposing curfews and passenger limits until age 18. Also irresponsible children who have poor grades and/or juvenile convictions can’t get licensed either keeping statically poor drivers off the road.

      2 months ago
  • For countries with comprehensive, efficient and integrated public transportation infrastructure, minimal 18 years of age should be adequate, however I would go further by requiring at least 2 years of mandatory proper driver’s training and instruction across varied vehicles and common driving conditions before a driving test is allowed, followed by a year of probation before granting full basic driving license (limited to operating vehicles up to a certain power output, local legislation can decide based on types of vehicles availability/commonality), further qualification tests are required for advance licenses to operate “performance oriented” (again local legislation to decide based on availability/commonality) vehicles after 2 years of basic license experience without incurring penalties.

    Physical capabilities to operate a vehicle doesn’t equate to the psychological capabilities to afford the necessary social responsibilities that come with it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      2 months ago
  • Some interesting points there, although there was some misinformation. Firstly the driving age for a car in the UK is 17 (for a tractor or a scooter though it is 16, as well as some weird low horsepower 2 seater cars), secondly a lot of people start drinking at a fairly low age here (the legal limit in Scotland is 5, I guess its 16 in England I'm not too sure, but people are drinking from the age of 12 or 13, the law isn't necessarily followed particularly closely). Thirdly, the approximately 50% of the UK population that don't live in urban areas do still have relatively long distances to travel. I have a 15 mile commute each day, with crap bus times (one every 2 hours). Other than those small points a very interesting article

      2 months ago