Pros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age

HomePros and Cons of Raising the Driving Age


Cathy Habas

Apr 05, 2024

2 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review. We may earn money when you buy through our links.

Stay Safe and become a SafeWise Insider!
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter to get the best safety news, product info, and deals.
By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Arguments for raising the driving age
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is running a Put the Phone Away or Pay campaign during distracted driving awareness month, which is each April. Though we are all susceptible to distracted driving, the NHTSA says drivers ages 16-24 are distracted by devices at higher rates than others. Here are some data-based arguments to be made in favor of raising the minimum driving age.

1. It could reduce fatal crashes
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the rate of fatal crashes per mile driven is nearly 3 times higher for teens aged 16 to 19 as it is for drivers over the age of 20.1 It is thought that raising the driving age to 18 could help lower the overall rate of fatal crashes.

2. It could make teens more active
It is thought that removing the option to drive will cause more teens to walk, ride bikes, or use other active options to get places. This could cut back on teenage obesity levels by providing more opportunities for exercise.

3. 18-year-olds are more emotionally mature than 16-year-olds
Emotional maturity increases as we age, and it’s thought that 18-year-olds are more likely to make smart decisions without giving in to peer pressure than 16-year-olds.

Arguments against raising the driving age
Here are two common arguments in favor of keeping things the same.

1. It would limit transportation options for teens
Teens these days may not be as physically active as they ought to be, but they’re definitely busy. School, extracurricular activities, jobs, and social events usually require some form of transportation.
If the teens can’t drive themselves, the responsibility for transportation often falls to their parents—who may not have the time or ability—or to public transportation, which may not be readily available. And with most American cities being built with drivers in mind, walking or biking long distances may not be practical or safe either.
All in all, fewer transportation options could limit the opportunities kids have for personal growth at a critical age.

2. Teen car crash stats would skew toward the new minimum age
 The argument here is that the higher crash rates for 16- and 17-year-olds may just be because they are new to driving and lack experience. Delaying the start of driving may just delay that learning and shift the crash rates more toward the 18- and 19-year-olds. 

Teaching teens to be safe drivers

Whichever side of the argument you fall on, we encourage you to stay invested in your child’s safety as they learn to drive.
Consider these gadgets to keep them accountable: 

A vehicle gps tracker
A dash cam 
A driving safety app like Life360

Best Vehicle GPS Tracker


View on Amazon list price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Compare the top car safety products
ProductBest forPriceSpecsStand-out featureLearn moreRead reviewVyncsBest vehicle tracker$89.99OBD port plug-inMaintenance remindersView on AmazonRead reviewDroneMobile X-1Best car alarm$119.953,000 ft rangeRemote startDiesel engine safeView on AmazonRead reviewRexing V1PBest dash cam$139.284K Full HD170° front and rearTolerates -20°F to 176°FView on AmazonRead reviewGarmin DriveSmart 61Best navigation system$249.996.95 in. touchscreenVoice controlView on AmazonRead reviewThe Club 3000Steering wheel lock$49.64Hardened steel3 different sizesTamperproof lockView on AmazonRead reviewTorin Big RedBest portable car jack$26.99Lifts up to 15 in. and 3,000 lbs.LightweightAffordableView on AmazonRead price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

Related pages on SafeWise

How Do I Talk To My Teen About Driver Responsibility and Safety?
What Are the Dangers of Texting and Driving?
5 Tips to Make You Safer on the Road
Winter Driving Safety Tips
Car Safety—Frequently Asked Questions

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Share Article

Written by

Cathy Habas

With over eight years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic.

Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She is a certified Safe Sleep Ambassador and has contributed to sites like,, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

Read More

Recent Articles

By Cathy Habas


Best Medical Alert Systems

See which medical alert system is the best to keep you and your loved one…

By John Carlsen


The Best Home Security Systems in Canada

Find the best home alarm system to protect your house. We looked at price, features,…

By Rebecca Edwards


Best Home Security Systems

After thousands of hours of tests and research, we picked Vivint and SimpliSafe as the…

By Cathy Habas


Best Apartment Security Systems

These renter-friendly apartment security systems help keep you safe and require less commitment than your…