British Car Auctions New Driver Survey Results
Thirty-five percent of motorists claim that the minimum age for driving a car should be raised, a British Car Auctions survey has revealed. In fact, forty percent believe that youngsters should be excluded until they reach twenty-one. Why? Because a large proportion of those surveyed said that a change would “reduce traffic accidents”. There might be some truth here. As such – according to the Royal Automobile Club – drivers aged from seventeen to twenty-four make-up twenty-five percent of those killed or seriously injured on the road - even though they only account for eight percent of licence holders. There are, of course, several reasons why. Youngsters are inevitably inexperienced and that makes them less able to read the road than their older counterparts. This ensures that some of them cannot consistently anticipate hazards which is a key motoring skill. Furthermore, a high percentage have a “it will never happen to me” attitude which is particularly dangerous when mixed with the temptation to show-off to friends. Finally, youngsters - many of whom are struggling financially with student debt and low paid jobs – tend to be in old cars which lack modern safety features.
Pros/Cons Of Raising The Minimum Age For Driving
Let us consider the pros/cons of raising the age limit. Banning people from the road until (say) twenty-one might give them time to grow out of the “it will never happen to me” attitude. This alone might save lives which would ease the strain on the emergency services. However, even if someone starts driving at forty he/she has to survive the inexperienced stage. Furthermore, as things stand most people who start learning at seventeen can be on the road by eighteen. At this stage they might be married, living independently of their parents and raising children. Denying these individuals access to convenient transport might seriously impede their lives - most seriously in terms of finding employment and coping with everyday tasks such as shopping and taking kids to school. Clearly, that would be unfair to those that drive carefully and to a high standard. It might also irritate family/friends who would have to offer them lifts. But this debate is irrelevant (almost). Why? Because raising the minimum age would make the government unpopular so it is unlikely to try. It might also hurt the economy as less people would buy vehicles and pay for petrol, insurance, road tax, repairs, servicing, and MOTs. Money talks.