Increasing Driving Age Limits in Alberta

Increasing Safety by Increasing Age Limits of Drivers Many Albertans and fellow Canadians may agree that driving is an act of responsibility and maturity. Giving out licenses to teenagers, who tend to make risky and thoughtless decisions, is something the country should considered prohibiting. Due to such careless actions, crash rates are much higher for younger drivers than older, more experienced ones. The increase in fatality for teen drivers may be highly influenced by the lack of wearing seat belts, and their tendency to speed more.

Not only are they creating a huge risk for themselves, but also for others around them. The driving age limit in Alberta, as well as in Canada, should be raised to eighteen to ensure the safety of other citizens and teens themselves. By decreasing the rate of accidents, preventing recklessness and carelessness on the roads, and lastly ensuring that all laws are obeyed when driving, may be a step towards the right direction of creating a safer community, and more manageable society. To decrease fatality and accident rates in Alberta, the age of obtaining a license should be raised.

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Service Alberta states, that to begin learning to drive an automobile you must be at least fourteen, while to obtain a license you must be a minimum of sixteen years-old (Driver’s License; Class 5). To save lives, not only in Alberta, but also nation-wide, the government should greatly consider changing this law. According to Daniel R. Mayhew, crash rates tend to decline as age increases (Changes in collision rates among novice drivers during the first months of driving). “Teen drivers make up about 7 percent of licensed drivers, but they account for 14 percent of the fatalities in accidents” (Teenager Car Accident Statistics).

With this knowledge, Albertans should invest more determination in the upbringing of the age limit to cause less worry for their citizens. Some steps have already been taken, such as bringing in a Graduated Driving License program; which requires driver’s to complete many different steps of learning and training, before a full license is received (Teenager Car Accident Statistics). Within a short ten-year span, the nation is able to see that teen crash rates have dropped 7 percent (Teenager Car Accident Statistics).

Possibly raising the age at, which teens must be supervised to drive, may also improve their driving skills, and at the same time lead to fewer accidents. Obtaining a license, should become a more in depth, and challenging process to save more lives. Not only do fatality statistics raise awareness to increase the driving age, but also the recklessness and carelessness teens have on the road. Many non-fatal accidents are caused by not paying attention, visual distraction, speeding, failure to recognize hazards and emergency maneuvers (Young novice drivers: careless or clueless? . Due to a combination of these factors, individuals may believe that teens should not be driving at such an early age, because it may make them poor drivers (Is 16 the right age to obtain driver’s license? ). Peer pressure among young drivers from fellow passengers may greatly impact driving capability. Being able to take on distractions such as conversations or texting is a skill acquired through multitasking. According to research, multitasking matures deep in the twenties (Is 16 the right age to obtain driver’s license? . Therefore, teens are more subjected to distraction that may occur on the road, which cause many more dangers for those around them. To improve driving conditions among all citizens, mainly teens, Alberta enforced a new distracted driving law. “Under the new law, drivers will be prohibited from talking, texting or emailing on a hand-held cellphone, using hand-held radio communication devices, using other electronic devices, reading, writing or personal grooming while behind the wheel” (Government of Alberta).

Trying to eliminate carelessness and irresponsibility on Alberta roads can be greatly improved through fewer distractions, and a much lesser need to multitask. Besides new laws being placed, government should still consider enforcing an age increase to obtain a driver’s license, to ensure the safety of all. With this in mind, raising the driving age is definitely a step in the right direction, as it can decrease many common broken laws. Not wearing a seatbelt, or careless drunk driving are only a few that are broken every day.

Teens may not realize the consequences and costs that every broken law entitles. For simply not wearing a seat belt, a driver can be fined between $200 to $1000, and lose two demerit points; where for a GDL driver only eight are allowed (One person, one seat belt). “Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. According to surveys about 10% of high school students report they do not wear seat belts” (Teen Car Accidents). Novice driver’s immaturity and naiveness not only puts their own lives in danger, but as well as others.

While the seat belt law is commonly broken, driving under the influence is more frequent among teenagers. “60% of all teen deaths in car accidents are alcohol related” (Statistics Teenage Drunk Driving). Much of underage drinking occurs at house parties, hosted by high school students. Feeling confident and in control a teenager might rush into a car, expecting nothing to happen. When in reality the police may stop them, or worse they may land in a fatal crash. “Social host laws for minors aim to reduce teenage alcohol consumption by imposing liability on adults who host parties” (Angela K.

Dills). This is government’s way to prevent adults from supporting underage drinking, which leads to nothing but harm. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is also an anti-drinking and driving group, whose mission is to stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime (MADD Canada). Albertans are able to see that teens break laws more readily than older, more experienced driver, which is why the driving age should be raised to a more respectable one. Therefore, a consensus should be made among the nation, to raise the driving age to eighteen.

Not only will there be a dramatic decrease in accidents, but also a greater care and sense of responsibility on the roads. Lack of speeding and being more considerate about wearing seat belts, may greatly increase the chances of survival while driving. Not only should personal safety precautions be considered, but also the effects of multitasking. As discovered earlier, multitasking is an acquired skill that develops at an older age, which increases a driver’s safety and compatibility on the roads. More careful driving skills tend to be associated with maturity, which is also tends to be associated with safe alcohol use.

Teens don’t consider the consequences and make quick, thoughtless decisions that land many other citizens in harmful places or positions. Raising the age limit to obtain a license could be a step in the right direction of creating a safer society with fewer injuries and fatalities. Work Cited Admin. “Teenager Car Accident Statistics-What You, As a Parent, Must Know. ” Car Accident Injury Claim. N. p. 10 May 2010. Web. 21 November 2011. ; http://www. caraccidentinjuryclaims. org/teenager-car-accident-statistics-what-you-as-a-parent-must-know/; “Alberta’s distracted driving law comes into effect Sept. . ” Government of Alberta: Building a better Alberta. N. p. August 25, 2011. Web. 21 November 2011. ; http://alberta. ca/home/NewsFrame. cfm? ReleaseID=/acn/201108/ 3116101959656-A64D-B176-309E915FDAED40BA. html; Dills Angela K. “Social host liability for minors and underage drunk-driving accidents. ” Journal of Health Economics 29 (2010): 241-249. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 November 2011 “Driver’s License. ” Government of Alberta: Service Alberta. N. p. n. d. Web. 21 November 2011 ; http://www. servicealberta. gov. ab. ca/Drivers_Licence. fm#Class_5_Licence; Mayhew Daniel R. , Herbert M. Simpson, Anita Pak. “Changes in collision rates among novice drivers during the first months of driving. ” Accident Analysis and Prevention 35 (Spring 2002): 683-691. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 November 2011. McKnight A. James, A. Scott McKnight. “Young novice drivers: careless or clueless? ” Accident Analysis and Prevention 35 (2003): 921-925. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 November 2011. “One person, one seat belt. ” Seat Belts: Stay Safe and Secure. Ministry of Transportation. n. d. Web. 21 November 2011. lt; http://www. mto. gov. on. ca/english/safety/seatbelt. shtml; “Statistics Teenage Drunk Driving. ” Learn-About-Alcoholism. com. N. p. n. d Web. 21 November 2011. ; http://www. learn-about-alcoholism. com/statistics-teenage-drunk-driving. html; “Teen Car Accidents. Teenage Car Crashes. ” Teen Car Accidents: Pictures, Statistics ; Stories. N. p. n. d. Web. 21 November 2011. ; http://www. car-“accidents. com/teen-car-accidents. html; “What We Do” MADD Canada N. p. n. d. Web. 21 November 2011. ; http://www. madd. ca/madd2/en/about/about_what_we_do. html;

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