There are a million suggestions on how to reduce auto accidents and motorcycle accidents, also the injuries and deaths that accompany these accidents, but one that not many people have seemed to consider is raising the licensing age.

For the more experienced generation (I know the teens out there are rolling their eyes and declaring us “old”) teenagers are seen as reckless drivers. Giving a 3000 lb vehicle that can travel at high speeds to a 16-year-old is a recipe for disaster. Reflecting back to my maturity and responsibility level at 16- and 17-years-old I realize that I had no business behind the wheel. Reckless driving, speeding and distracted driving were very real factors and I am surprised that I was never involved in a serious auto accident.

Thousands of people every year are not as fortunate as me in evading catastrophe and I think waiting until young adults are more mature and can handle to responsibility will see a significant drop in fatal auto accidents just as increasing the drinking age was met with a dramatic decrease in the number of drunk driving related fatalities.

European countries have driving ages of 18 and suffer fewer car accidents than the United States. There are only 336,000 car accidents in Germany, for example, while there are over 6 million in the United States every year.

This idea is most likely going to be met with some controversy, but I believe it is an easy way to increase road safety and give teens a chance to develop more maturity wise before getting behind the wheel. In the mean time, the only way to help increase your teens safety is through knowledge and awareness and helping them make better and safer choices.

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