The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Why the Driving age should NOT be raised to 18

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 20,557 times Debate No: 28928
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




There has been a recent poll of adults who believe that raising the driving age to 18 will decrease the amount of crashes that cause adolescents their lives. That is just simply not true at all. Not only will it just cause 18 year-olds to crash, the young adults crash rates will increase as well. Not to mention the inconvenience of economical, social, and educational troubles of 16 and 17-year-old lives. For this debate I would like to see the side of view that can have a reasonable turn-out if we change these regulations, or laws.


I thank my opponent for instigating this debate, and I look forward to the clash that will most certainly ensue in the following rounds.

I want neither to assume that this first round is solely for acceptance nor that I should begin with my constructive in this round; it would be an utter shame to assume either and disappoint my opponent.

That said, I will not offer a full argument, but merely a premise by which the Con's argument shall stem.

In this debate I intend to refute Pro's stance by offering an argument of accountability. It will be my intention to advocate that raising the legal driving age to 18 will increase accountability for of those behind the wheel.

I look forward to the ensuing clash and hope to have a fun round!
Debate Round No. 1


Well, since I am new at this, I was not to assume that that round should be of just acceptance, because I am just starting my first debate, but to begin it is a fact, stated by the United States Census Bureau, that drivers in their twenties have the same ratio of accidents as teenagers as low as sixteen.

As stated by the United States Census Bureau in their Licensed Drivers and their Numbers of Accidents by Age data chart, licensed drivers that are 16 are at the rate of 1,311 drivers per year, and only 500 of them occur in fatal accidents, while there are a total of 3, 404 licensed drivers and 1, 400 of them occur in fatal accidents. That is roughly the same percentile of accidents caused by 16-year-olds and 20-year-olds. Then on top of that, it is just reason of the mind, or the ethos part of the mind, that many 21-year-olds will start to drink when it is legal, so the stimulants of alcohol will cause them to be in many accidents. (1)

Now, the age has been discussed to be raised to the age of 18, not only will that increase the accident rates of 18-year-olds, it will increase the accident rates of 20-year-olds and up, because they will not nearly have enough experience in order to be able to drive efficiently. The reason that many teenagers start driving so young, is in order to get experience. It is not the age that effects their ability to drive, for teenagers have remarkably quicker reaction times to adults. Take into example, that mine is 0.8 seconds in order to establish a reaction to the task at hand, while my mother's, which I have tested, is 1.3 seconds. It is not the age, it is the actions of the adolescents themselves. In which I propose that we increase the time of the learner's permit, not the age in which we may get our driver's license. (2)




The reason I did not start out this debate by posting arguments as soon as I accepted, is that it is common practice to use the first round for acceptance only. Your opening statements could have been interpreted as either a constructive argument or simply your opening thoughts on the matter. I did not want to assume which one was the case, so I simply offered the premise that my negation will stem from.

That said in this round I will aim to accomplish two things. First I will refute the arguments you have presented, then I will present and elaborate on my own argument.

My opponent offers two main arguments to advocate a vote for the pro: In the first he discusses the amount of driving accidents in the United States, and in the second he speaks on experience. The first argument he provides is a defensive argument (meaning that it doesn't build his stance up, it only tears down my stance) and the second one is an offensive argument (meaning it does provide reasons to vote pro.)

Going onto the argument concerning driving accidents, it should be expressly noted that my opponent's cited statistics are exceedingly unclear. I'm not quite sure what it is that my opponent is trying to get at with the numbers they've cited in this debate. I would simply follow my opponent's given source to figure out what Pro is trying to advocate but even that only leads to a general page, not the specific statistics cited.
Beyond that, it should be further noted that these statistics are irrelevant. If my opponent maintains that accidents are not any more pertinent among those under 18 than they are with those who are at least 18, then this is not a voting issue for Pro.
Finally my opponent's argument about reflexes is outright false. The teen may have sharper reflexes at that young age, but their discretion and judgement is severely impaired as their brain has yet to finish developing. I'll get to that in greater detail on my own arguments though.

As for the experience argument, it is also irrelevant; Ideally one would drive in such a way that the necessity to make split second decisions would never occur. One should drive in such a way that they have a firm control of their vehicle while on the road, so the reaction time difference of .8 as opposed to 1.3 shouldn't be a significant issue.
Beyond that, the benefit of reaction time would only be relevant for about two years, during which the young driver's inexperience would nullify any benefit that this minor reaction time benefit would have.
Finally in regard to basic experience, they two years a teenager would gain in experience driving before the age of 18 aren't very significant. Lax driving laws in the United States contribute to a lot of trouble in the first place, not just for minors but for grown adults as well. Because anyone and their goldfish can get a license, you see people driving recklessly just because they can; it has been empirically shown[1] that stricter driving laws do reduce drunk driving, especially for teens. They see that their driving privileges are in danger and straighten up -- by raising the driving age to 18 we cut the middle man and simply create incentive for safer driving
Furthermore, if we can't wait until their brain is fully developed (25) then we should at least wait until they can be responsible for their own actions. The experience will mean more to them and will come with less a sense of entitlement and more a sense of responsibility.

Onto My own argument, it's very simply an issue of accountability. When you're steering a 2000 pound hunk of metal down a freeway at 50-90 miles an hour, you have to pay attention to what you're doing. When one is a minor their brain has yet to fully develop[2], and to put them in such a seat of responsibility isn't a good idea. Given that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 24-25, I could probably even make a case to raise the driving age higher than just 18, but I won't place a burden on myself that I don't need to prove.

So how does the issue of accountability come into play? It is both unsafe and unjust to place that kind of responsibility into the hands of a minor's parents. They shouldn't have to be responsible for their child's automobile accidents; when driving down a highway at 50-90 miles an hour, it is very possible for that child to have a wreck and injure themselves or someone else.

In conclusion, on the argument of responsibility the driving age should indeed be 18.
Furthermore I would like to point out that as the contender in this debate it is not my burden to prove the resolution false, but to refute the arguments of my opponent.

Back to you ValentineLocke!
Debate Round No. 2


Now, not anyone is able to get their driver's license for you would need to pass the D.A.T.A. course to get your permit, then you would need to actually drive a course in order to get your driver's license. Now, the website I had provided had a series of links to the graph in which I stated the title of the graph, in which my opponent could have clicked on. Many teenagers at 16, are more likely to get jobs and would need to drive around, and of course all teenagers have their own socialization or otherwise they may "die" as they put it. Now of course, I am 15, and like any other teenager I am getting my driver's license. Please keep in mind, that although I am a teenager myself, I am viewing this from a 3rd person perspective and treating this debate to facts.

First, many teenagers may not have fully developed craniums, but that is the reason that teenagers must take a test. If they don't pass, then they don't get their permit, or their license. The main reason that teenagers take the test is in order for the DMV to know that their prepared to drive, and that if they get into an accident it is their own fault. Many parents alike always want to protect their children, but they think that the only way is to raise the age and prohibit the child from practice. Now, although they will obviously be more mature and already have their high school diploma that year or the year before, but many kids underneath that age will feel the thrill of breaking the rules and start driving anyway. That in turn, would most likely cause more accidents, not only because they did not make the correct decision, but because they had never even started to learn about driving. If anything, the outcome will be either more deaths in teenagers, or more deaths as an 18-year-old because they will not be as experienced as if they start at the age of 16.

As for my experience argument, I believe that it is relevant because not only do fast events occur, but most of them are from streetlights, other drivers, animals, and debris. Many people always end up swerving off the road or into another car, if they are not careful, because an animal runs into the road. Many young drivers would be able to make quick decisions of pull off into the right-of-way, or stopping in time so they did not end up hitting the animal. At that point, they would already have a firm control of their vehicle because they would have their license or and adult with them to supervise them, so they would be more safer than ever, because they either just obtained it or they have had it for a limited time. Having a two-year advantage is significant, because you have to wonder, how many times does a person go out in a week? For an average teenager, it is two trips, one from school and one to home, then if they have work, that is two more, and who actually knows how many times teenagers hang out with each other, or just go out. Now I do agree with you, DoctorDeku, that the laws are lacking in the safety of drivers, no matter what age, but that should be fixed, not the age of drivers. If they really wanted to fix the problem of the accidents, they would increase the amount of time a teenager has their permit, not the amount of time before you can get your permit.

Another thing is the economical and educational issues with raising the age, for one thing, a adolescent can not have her parents drive her to work and back, and then to college or school, whichever you prefer, on a daily basis! Parents have jobs, meetings, and who knows what else to get to. If officials do raise the driving age to 18, then not only will that create economical stress for a teenager, it will create a lack of schooling, that in turn will never prepare them to live in today's world. To back up my economic stress proposal, many teenagers, who actually care about their education, will need to save up for college, and for things like supplies, books, and their meal plan. They also need to buy clothes, which sometimes parents can not provide. Sure, there are things such as student loans, but many people who choose that have to keep paying that off until they are in their thirties. As for high school, there is no such thing as a meal plan, you have to have the money in your hand or in your account, or you move on without lunch. Nowadays, many teachers expect materials to be already in their students hands, and if they do not have them, they do not pass, because they do not have their things they need to learn. As for the educational issue, many kids now have to drive themselves to school, or college, in order to learn. Many high students, of course, now take the bus, but they are unable to if they want to go to college.(1)

These are my reasons on why the driving age should NOT be raised to 18!


Since this is the last round, I offer you will have a nice rebuttal to the information that was just given, then offer your second argument to the debate. Voters will have a full week to vote!

Your turn, DoctorDeku, may the odds be ever in your favor, and thank your for accepting this debate!


I don't know how I managed to miss this at first, but it appears that there are only two rounds of actual clash in this debate :\. Also, despite Pro's permission to offer a new argument in this round, I'm simply going to continue the clash on the issues already at play; otherwise Pro wouldn't have a chance to respond. I may however utilize new evidence in my refutations, as my opponent has changed the nature of their arguments in this round with the inclusion of new warrants and new evidence.

Before getting into my final rebuttals and voters, I would like to reminds the voters of the two main arguments working in the Con's favor as well as clarify the burdens via standard debate etiquette.

Con's arguments are as follows;
Cognitive Development: That the human brain is not fully developed until between the ages of 24-25


Accountability: That parents ought not be responsible for their children's mistakes // that raising the driving age would increase accountability for drivers.

The Burdens are as follows
Pro, Must prove the resolution to be true. Unless they can do this the vote must go Con.

Con, must reasonably disprove the Affirmative.

That said, I will now follow a line-by-line refutations of my opponent's arguments as of the prior round.

First things first, different States deal with giving driving licenses differently
My opponent claims that for one to gain their drivers' license they must must pass the D.A.T.A course, however from what research I've been able to find, this only the case in Florida[3]. Different states have differing laws on what must be done in order to recieve a driver's license[4]. Some states such as Michigan, Kansas and Iowa let kids as young as 14 get their license, while some don't even require the students to have a drivers permit first.

My opponent has overlooked several crucial facts about driving laws in the United States, and their assertions on prevention must be discounted accordingly. This impact also bleeds into my opponent's argument that students who don't pass their drivers test don't get their license; so when we realize that States like Kansas not only allow teenagers to get a license as young as 14, but that these 14 year olds don't even need to have a driver's permit first,[4] we realize there is a massive disadvantage overlooked by my opponent.

Finally when my opponent speaks of reflexes he fails to realize that the discernment as to when to utilize one's reflexes is something that comes with age. This is a huge impact of the Con's cognitive development argument and must be recognized when dealing with this argument; while younger people may react more quickly those reactions are not always guided by a discerning mentality.

The next thing on the list is public transportation and College
Most colleges are in major cities, or at least cities with a sizable amount of people in them. In these cities, there exists a myriad of different options in public transportation; Buses, Trolleys, subways, sidewalks -- and many college students don't even bring their vehicle with them to school. Furthermore public schools offer students free transportation to and from school[5], even when they aren't required to do so.

Therefore any argument which concerns the transit of students to and from school isn't viable as there are means to get to school that exclude driving.

Furthermore student loans aren't an impact as college students are more than likely going to be eighteen years of age and will be able to work to pay for their schooling. And even if this isn't the case most colleges provide 'work-study' job[6] availabilities to their students anyway.
Finally loans aren't the only way to pay for college, students can apply for grants, gain scholarships and even some loans can become grants if the student performs to a certain standard[7]

Finally let's talk about accountability and parental responsibility
While it's nice when students are able to work while in high school, it's not required of them. It is the responsibility of the parent to make sure that their children have all the things they need for survival, the children shouldn't be burdened with this responsibility; to require a child to work and bring home an income is child labor.

What this means is that any argument of a teenager needing a license to drive themselves to and from work is illegitimate as they shouldn't have to work; if they want to and their parents are willing the parents will find a way to get them to their job, but it shouldn't be required.

Furthermore the issue of accountability was never addressed by my opponent, which is a pretty big voting issue. No matter what one's age is, driving is a pretty risky task; for a parent to be forced to bear the responsibility of their children's actions when it is not necessary is unjust. Instead such a responsibility should not be placed into a child's hands until they are at an age where they are accountable for their own actions. While the student's brain will not have fully formed by the age of 18, it will be better than when the child was 16 or even 14 (seriously, thing about your own logic at the age of 14 guys.)

In Conclusion
My opponent has failed to provide a compelling argument, whereas I have been successful in refuting their arguments.

I urge a vote for the Con!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ValentineLocke 5 years ago
It's all good, I was freaking out because school just start back up for me too.
Posted by DoctorDeku 5 years ago
I'm a bit slow on the responses right now, sorry about that. I just started school and I'm a little busy, but I assure you that I will respond before the time elapses.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ike-Jin-Park 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument I saw came down into three parts: experience, physicial capability and necessity. The first argument was that teens need to get familiar with driving so they do not cause accidents later on. If not, in case where driving age is raised, more accident will be caused due to lack of experience. However, this argument is a contradiction since Pro she herself argued there is no difference of accident rate between age group, which shows new drivers do not necessarily cause more accidents. Moreover, as Pro said, new drivers will be tested for their driving ability which defeats argument of newbies causing more accidents. For second argument, we all know what DoctorDeku said is a truth, that 16-year-olds aren't cognitively mature. The thrid point about how driving is necessary was flawed again since there are public transportations and it's a minor case. At the end of the day, Pro's argumentation was refuted and Con's point as to why driving age should rise was undefeated.