At what age should people be allowed to earn a driver's license?

There seems to be a lot of debate on teens driving and the new restrictions being applied. What's your opinion on the subject?

Updates:
i don't know if all states have adopted these restrictions but I know of five states that have restricted 16 and 17 year old drivers in this way:


for the first 6 mos they are not allowed anyone in the car under 20 who is not immediate family
they are not allowed to drive between the hours of either 12am or 1am and 5am unless it is work or school related. some states restrict cell phone use. for the next 6 mos they are not allowed to have more than 3 passengers under 20 who are not family.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I think that when people that young are driving, that they need to pay as much attention to the road as possible. Being with someone older in the car can also help because they have more experience therefore more awareness of dangers on the road. and cellphones are just a bad idea for someone 16 / 17 to be driving around talking on no matter who they're with.

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What Guys Said 7

  • I am happy with the current system we have in the US, although I think if we were going to make a change, it would be to add a tiered step to it as far as what you can drive goes, like what England has done to motorcycle licenses. Basically you designate certain small combat or subcompact cars with lower power engines as suitable "learner's vehicles" and for the first 2 years you have your license you're only allowed to drive those vehicles.

    There is however one logistical problem with it:

    In the US not every family has a subcompact or compact car for their child to learn in. Many only own larger vehicles such as SUVs. So while the system I proposed is practical and logical, it simply doesn't work with the American lifestyle of excess.

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  • Hey! 16 always worked good as I was growing up. 'Course people rode horses then! Guess I'm outta the loop, as I'm unaware of new restrictions. When I was at it, you just took a driving course in school, your father took you driving around town alot, giving you pointers, then on the big day, you went and took the test. If you passed it, you were rollin on your own.

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  • I think it varies. Kids who grow up in predominantly rural areas/states or who live on farm should be allowed at least a limited driving license as early as 15, maybe even 14. Other than that, I am ok with the 16 age limit, even if it comes with limitations until age 18.

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    • Exactly I live in the middle of nowhere and we all pretty much learn to drive at about 14-15....whether it be around the countryside or in town its really all the same lol...just don't hit the other cars...

    • Yeah, from a public health and policy background I understand the new regulations intent. Some are probably excessive...and highly inconvenient for parents of those teens as well as the teens themselves. But that is the beauty of a nation with individual states able to pass their own laws. You get some experimentation, and hopefully everyone is better of in the long-run for it.

  • I think if you can run all the controls, and pass the written and road tests, then you should be able to drive, but I live in a rural area where kids are driving around farms by themselves at 8 years old. I don't think it would work very well in the city.

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  • at 14 I could start driving and I like that age. it allows kids to be able to drive themselves to school and at that age we can get jobs so it allows us to drive to those too. we have our learners for 6 months, then we can get our restricted which is no driving after 10. if we take drivers ed we only need the learners for 3 months.

    i like the age and it makes everything more convenient for me, and my family.

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  • I think it all depneds on yourself and the area you will be driving in

    i was able to get a awl(basicly a drivers license to drive any vehicle anround the farm and around farm roads so yeh)

    so yeh

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  • depends more one the maturity level of the kid

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What Girls Said 9

  • Im not sure about elsewhere...but here you get your permit at 15 and your license at 16... I think that is fine. Experience is experience...if you don't start learning till you're say...17 you have just as much (or lack of) experience as the 15 yo learning to drive. I've noticed that people who don't learn to drive till they are in their 20's or above are worse than teenagers... Somethign about the older we get, the less likely we are to be open to learning new things and afraid of making mistakes.

    Also, there's not as much on the plate of a 15/16 y.o as there is on a 17/18 y.o...learning to drive is the most important thing to them..but as we get older, there are more things to think aout, and jmore one ones plate... Another thing too..that is a huge responsibility, and I reckon the average 15/16 y.o is at the point where they want to prove they can be taken seriously and be responsible...thats the age where you really do have to prove it...and learning to drive is a great opportunity for someone that age to show they are maturing and can handle being trusted.

    If a parent thinks or knows thier kid isn't ready..they can always wait off another year...that is the parents responsibility... My kid is about to be a teen, and at this point if she keeps going at the rate she is..Id be more than happy to get a permit for her when she's 15...she'll have a full year to prove she can learn and handle the responsibility before she turns 16 and is allowd to get a license anyway.

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  • Here in Texas, apparently you can get your license at 14! I've only been here a year and a half due to the Army, but I guess if you have a single parent, and/or live too far away from a school, you can get your license easily at 14! I totally disagree with it. I lived in Tucson for 6 years, and I also disagree with the way the issue licenses. You take the paper test for your permit, and then a driving test (I didn't no more than two right hand turns, a left hand turn, and a U-Turn, which is legal in Arizona) and I had my license. But you have to be at least 16 and had your permit for 5 months. I lived in Michigan for 15 years, and they're pretty strict. You have to take a driving class to get your permit, then while driving on your permit you have to get so many driving hours and can't drive after 12am AND take a driver's ED class, then you take a driver's test, paper and driving. Michigan driver's are some of the BEST drivers I have ever seen. And I've been all over this country traveling, and moving. Personally, I'm ok with 16 being the driving age, but they need to do what Michigan does (or did as of 2002 before we moved). Making SURE they know the laws and take plenty of classes and get plenty of practice.

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    • I think that's rare. we live in tx and my nieces, 16 and 17 went to get their licenses on the same day. they had both had driver's ed but the 17 year old was told she had to wait until she turned 18 since she was no longer attending high school (she graduated early). crazy to punish her for graduating early. thanks for your perspective on the different states =]

    • Yeah it could be where I'm at there's a lot of nothing around here. I don't know the Texas laws very well, especially since I still have my Arizona license. It could be by counties too, who knows :)

    • Yeah where I'm from there's more cows than people. lol.

  • Teens should be 18, in my opinion, before they drive. I think that they should be able to practice with a guardian at 16. The reason I say this is that most kids (MOST) are not mature enough to handle driving. They are too excited about being able to drive that they don't adhere to the rules and regulations.

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  • I'm 17 myself, and got my license at age 16. My parents found it inconvenient to have to drive me everywhere sports practice, band, choir, to hangout with my friends, on dates, etc. Even when I need to let my mom borrow my car, not being able to drive is really inconvenient for teenagers who are involved/have a busy schedule. I think 15 would be a good age, that way you're old enough to be in high school and you've gotten over the preteen stages. It all boils down to the individuals maturity level and ability to be able to hand the responsibility of driving.

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  • I get so jealous that people in america can drive ealier than us lot. We can't learn until we're 17 and there are certain cars that new drivers aren't allowed to driver over here and for some cars you have to be over 25! for some you have to have had a driving license for 3 years! I think its stupid that they class younger drivers as the most dangerous when everyday I see OAP's that are driving at 10mph on a motorway, are struggling to see over the steering wheel and look like they can't see further than a metre infront of them!

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  • Everyone is a terrible driver except me. I say take everyone's license but mine. LOL. No really, I think the system we have in place now is a good one. 16 is fine with limitations until they are 18. I heard in Idaho you can get a license to drive on the farm at either 14 or 15, don't know if it's true or not though.

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  • 18. Definately. I'm just now starting to be comfortable in the driver's seat, and only a little more comfortable than I used to be.

    My little sister is 16 and she is NOT ready. AT ALL.

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  • lol that's quite strange about no under 20s who aren't family-a bit strict. In england it is now illegal to use a phone whilst driving.

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  • i'm gonna have to say 18 should be the youngest for driving but I think the drinking age should be lowered to 18 also so we're more like EVERY other country in this world..

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