Youth Behind the Wheel

There I was the other day, driving down Chicago’s famed Lake Shore Dr., stuck in traffic, when I looked over to my right and saw a kid at the wheel who was almost certainly too young to be a licensed driver. He was supervised by an adult in the passenger seat, but the sight.

Drivers from age 16-17 have significant consequences that have a drastic impact on our futures. These are usually taken care of by driving schools to teach about defensive mobility principles, the road rules and finding safe places for driving. They also take into account that parents should be there to watch their children learn the tricky art of driving a vehicle.

With the growing support that the legal driving age is dropping, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidelines. In 1961, the legal driving age was 21. Now it’s 18 in almost every state. Younger people now have a set amount of time to learn how to drive before getting behind the wheel on their own. They have much more time to become familiar with other vehicles and people on the road. It just helps them be prepared and safe when they take that key off the hook of their first car door.

A study found that drivers with teen passengers had a crash risk up to 300% greater than drivers without teenage passengers.

The rate of teenagers involved in fatal accidents is increasing because the number of young people with driving licenses is skyrocketing. In 2016, 39% of all young drivers were found to have distracted themselves while they were behind the wheel. That year, 72 teenagers died as a result of this distraction before it was prevented by state law.

Although it is not a law, there are laws created to reduce the risk of young drivers behind the wheel. On November 1, 2016, these harmful driving laws go into effect:

Always tap your brakes, be patient when parking, and never speed. It’s just as important to drive defensively if you’re a teenage driver as it is wherever car you’re driving.