Too Young, Too Old, or Just Right?

How old should you have to be to start driving?

AZ Central

How old should you have to be to start driving?

Amie Murray, Columnist

Many young teens would love to drive, but it may be unsafe. In Arizona, you must be 16 years old to drive legally, and can receive a learner’s permit at 15 years and six months. This varies between states and is due to state decisions.

According to IIHS, in some states, you can start the learning process of driving at just 14 years old. These states include South Dakota, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and North Dakota. This may be unsafe. NHTSA states teenagers have a higher rate of crashing. Teens may also be distracted if they have their friends in the car or if they are texting while driving. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says it is illegal to text while driving unless the phone is in hands free mode.

In an interview with Kiefer Rich, an eighth grader at Horizon Honors, Rich said “16 or 17 would be the ideal age for driving.” When asked how old someone should be to get a learners permit he replied with “16 years old.” When asked to comment on why he thought it was a good idea to drive at 16 or 17, he replied, “because this is when teens decide to get a job.” Last, Rich was asked what the biggest risk teens can face while driving, where he replied “teens tend to get upset and could possibly have more road rage than adults.”

In an interview with Jessica Davis, a teacher at Horizon Honors, she stated that her ideal age for a new driver is “somewhere between 16 and 18.” When asked what age she thought a teen should start learning how to drive, she answered “14 or 15.” Finally, she was asked what the most risky thing about a driving teen was, and she replied with “texting and driving or even having a phone while driving.” She further elaborated by saying “phones are the worst while driving.”

There is no simple way to tell what age teens should start driving. Most answers suggest that  14 to 18 years old is the appropriate age range to learn how to drive. Furthermore, it seems that answers depend on the age of who you ask. Younger people wish to lower the age, whereas older people believe the older the driver, the more maturity they will have.