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Finalist #2 Anna Mavakis

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Essay by: Anna Mavakis

Essay Subject: Teen drivers account for a disproportionate number of motor vehicle crashes. While the reasons for this are varied, some observers believe that raising the minimum driving age would help address this issue, while others believe it would simply make the riskiest drivers on the road a little bit older. With whom do you agree and why?

I am a 17 year old girl who got her drivers license a little over a year ago. Being a teenage driver and driving with teens every day, I know how dumb and reckless we can be.

While some adults can be reckless and not pay attention while driving, they are definitely more mature and less dangerous then us teens. Also, most adults are not glued to their phones like almost all teenagers are. There are a lot less distracted by things like technology than teens are.

Due to these reasons, I believe raising the minimum driving age would help address this issue. While there will always be reckless drivers at every age that account for many motor vehicle crashes, teen drivers being eliminated from the equation would definitely decrease these tragedies.

Technology is an issue for teens that comes up repeatedly. Technology is blamed for everything teenagers do wrong, but I agree with the statement. Personally, my phone never leaves my hand and I know it is like that for almost every other teenager too. If teenagers are driving somewhere for more than 5 minutes, they are not going to be able to put down their phones. As age increases, technology addiction decreases. Most adults do not even know how to work their smart phones and do not care to be on it all the time. They grew up with phones not existing so they do not need them to survive which teenagers think they do. This distraction is a huge one for teen drivers that causes so many of the crashes. Since most people who are older than teenagers are less distracted by technology, raising the minimum driving age would help address the issue.

Another important reason the driving age should be increased is due to maturity. There are so many people I know who are just way too immature to be driving a vehicle. They think a car is a toy and do not take driving seriously. Most boys do not fully mature until they are about 20-25. However, they can get in a car with all of their friends with no restrictions at the age of 18. That just does not make much sense to me. I think both males and females should be able to drive when they are physically and emotionally mature. Most adults will not pack a car with kids and try to do donuts in the snow, but a 17 year old who thinks they are funny might. Most teenagers think they are so cool when they can drive and do things to show off in front of other people. This might seem funny until the car is flipped into a ditch and them and all of their friends are dead or injured. Raising the minimum driving age would insure drivers are mature and not treating driving as a game which would definitely decrease the amount of motor vehicle crashes.

In conclusion, raising the minimum driving age would decrease the amount of motor vehicle accidents. Teenagers are easily distracted by technology which causes many car accidents. Also, when teenagers get their licenses they are not fully mature. Their immaturity causes them to drive recklessly and do things they shouldn’t to seem cool in front of their friends. Immaturity and technology are two things that cause teenagers to get in many motor vehicle accidents. I believe people who are older are less likely to be distracted by technology and let their immaturity control their driving habits. Therefore, if the minimum driving age is raised, there will be less motor vehicle accidents.

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