Legal driving age vs. maturity

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Oct 3, 2008
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Over here you must be 18 to apply for a driver's license, but unfortunately most 18 year olds here do not have 2 brain cells to rub together (no offence to anyone)...which raises the question: what really is the ideal age to apply for a driver's license? I was driving home this evening on a major, four lane highway, in the second lane with cruise set to 110 km/h (70 MPH). Quite a few vehicles were on the road and behind me in the left lane was a new Honda Pilot. Out of nowhere, a late model Yukon Denali was on my tail. Suddenly, the idiot in the Yukon squeezed himself in between the Pilot and I (in between the first and second lane), jumped into the left lane, then went diagonally across to the third lane. I had to brake real hard not to hit him as he pulled out in front of me from the left lane. Then he jumped into the far right lane, and lost control as he tried to make his way back into the first lane. The SUV starts to skid like a pendulum and brings the highway to a complete halt - thankfully without crashing or harming anyone. People have a habit of getting out of their vehicles to "check" if the driver's alright. No surprise, the driver had just got his license today and is jumping from lane to lane at ludicrous speeds of 100+ MPH in an SUV. Maybe Darwin's theory may apply, or maybe it's just population control...I don't know. But what ticks me off so much is idiots like this take innocent lives with them. I could care less if he ended up only killing himself.
 
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I got my license at 16, back when this was still legal. Almost a decade later I've learned a lot more about driving since I first started out. Was I mature enough at 16 to get my license? Debatable. It differs from person to person.
 
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San Antonio, Texas
Yukon Denali huh, with abrand new driver acting like an idiot. Silver sppon kid that may or mey not have just learned a lesson. Chances are he'll wreck it and mommy & daddy will use their ins. to get him a new one. I agree though that most people aren't mature enough to get the license when they're old enough to do so. I blame the parents for this. Yeah, the can take driving school and whatnot beforehand, but parental teaching is what's not being done IMO. My grandfather let me drive my grandmothers 77 chrysler New Yorker land yacht when I was about 10 or 11 in the early 80's. He would take me to desolate area and let me have at it. Then TEACH me about what I was doing wrong. at 13 years old he would let me go to the convenience store in it by myself because he knew he taught me right and knew that I listened to him. My dad would let me sit on his lap and drive his pickup also. I was plenty mature and capable when it came to driving when I got my license at 16. Kids that do this stuff were/are lacking in parental involvement IMO. Nowadays most parents leaving teaching anything to their kids up to someone else most of the time. Then complein that they weren'ttaught correctly. It's unfortunate that most parents nowadays shouldn't be.
 
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Should be a legal driving intelligence, not age. Idiocy (and maturity) knows no age limits. But whatcha gonna do?
 
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Pottstown, PA
Well, we're in a trap. Most of the rolling population doesn't have a decent alternative public transit system capable of serving their needs (granted the term "needs" can always be massaged). I'd go for a bona fide proficiency test (in a simulator, perhaps) to get your license. That would then be configured to the lowest common denominator that produced the most $$$ or cost the least $$$ ..or shift the $$$ liability out some other vent.
 
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Kansas
 Originally Posted By: sciphi
I got my license at 16, back when this was still legal. Almost a decade later I've learned a lot more about driving since I first started out. Was I mature enough at 16 to get my license? Debatable. It differs from person to person.
If we are going to be on this subject, let also ask what age should the driver's license be taken away? 65? 75? 85? My grandma lived to be 104 and she renewed her driver's license at 100. She was a better driver than a lot of 70 year olds. I guess it differs from person to person.
 
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 Originally Posted By: oilyriser
What happened to the iron spike in the steering wheel idea?
Ah, the good old days of natural selection (fondly gazing off into nowhere). I guess the collateral damage was deemed too high in costs.
 
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Jan 12, 2005
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FL
 Originally Posted By: Kruse
 Originally Posted By: sciphi
I got my license at 16, back when this was still legal. Almost a decade later I've learned a lot more about driving since I first started out. Was I mature enough at 16 to get my license? Debatable. It differs from person to person.
If we are going to be on this subject, let also ask what age should the driver's license be taken away? 65? 75? 85? My grandma lived to be 104 and she renewed her driver's license at 100. She was a better driver than a lot of 70 year olds. I guess it differs from person to person.
Yeah, someone should try to put that into law here. The elderly here are usually road blocks around here. They're dangerous sometimes too. An old man cut across a three lane road with traffic in all three lanes. I was merging into the middle lane and if I didn't hit my brakes fast enough I would have t-boned him.
 
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Grey dawn ..grey tide ..grey tsunami ..it's already here. In a decade or two it will be entering its decline. Now is the time to cash out of the health maintenance/nursing home business and invest heavily in crematoriums and burial real estate ..and be out of that by 2030.
 
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You can get a drivers license at 15 in New Zealand - my younger daughter got her license on her 15th birthday.But we have a graduated system - a learner has to have an adult in the car at all times.Then they move onto a restricted,where they have a curfew,only fully licensed passengers,etc.They move onto a full license at around 18yrs old.But that doesn't mean that they are all sensible and will obey the law - plenty of drunken kids killed in cars on learner licenses with kids as passenger. I didn't get my car license until I was 18 - but I was driving my own cars at 16.
 
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It's this same coddling that raised the drinking age to 21. IMO it should be 15 or so, so you're home getting blitzed with your parents, or at least in the same town as them-- so they'd hear from the cops-- and can get that rite of passage out of the way before even starting driving. Be nice to have some responsibility on kids before they graduate high school and move out. In a chicken-and-egg scenario, cars and insurance aren't affordable on 10 hr/week taco bell wages, so parents buy both, and the kids don't value them.
 
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Canada
Thing that scares me the most about older drivers is that b/c most of them are nice, gentle folk that would never hurt people, they honestly don't understand what has happened when carnage ensues - their brain can't process it. A young kid gets into a race. His mindset going into is 'I'm gonna kicks this guy's a##! Its an 'agressive', dominating aprroach. When carnage nesues, he can be made to understand that his 'agression' to beat the other guy caused the damage. He often 'sobers up' from this mindframe, and feels very, very bad. A sweet, old lady doesn't have this 'agrresive' mindset when setting out for a drive - she's just going to the store to get a toy for her grandson, bless him...so when carnage ensues, causing harm was the FURTHEST thing from her mind. She's told she's killed someone, and her brain overloads..is in a fog...and she honestly can't understand how it happened, b/c she can't envision it. So she never learns from it. If she's founf not at fault..etc..she goes back to driving w/o changing her behaviour. THOSE people are the REAL threats!
 
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I got mine at 15 with no driver's ed-just what I learned from my mother letting me drive the 88 Bonneville to church and the grocery store. Aced the test. Didn't get my own car until almost 3 years later, though, my 320i. That was a fun little car but I did NOT understand the difference in driving dynamics between a large FWD sedan and a small rwd that could be pointed in any direction at any time. I seemed to end up facing opposite of my direction of travel a lot.
 
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I got my license very late, at 22. My father balked at teaching me ("You'll want to use the car all the time!"), and so I didn't learn until my first fiancee bought her Ford Maverick with a small inheritance. Looking back, I don't think I'd have been ready (read: confident and safe) for driving much earlier.
 
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We don't really train or test people thoroughly in the USA for driver's licenses. We only go through the motions. We need to instill FEAR. We need to instill real RESPONSIBILITY. Tens of thousands of dollars ,life, death, and maiming, [like living in a wheelchair for the rest of your life] should be hammered into kids who are disassociated from reality with video games and movies.
 
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 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
We don't really train or test people thoroughly in the USA for driver's licenses. We only go through the motions. We need to instill FEAR. We need to instill real RESPONSIBILITY. Tens of thousands of dollars ,life, death, and maiming, [like living in a wheelchair for the rest of your life] should be hammered into kids who are disassociated from reality with video games and movies.
I had plenty of fear. That's why I'm glad I waited to learn. (Well, partly. Not being able to drive, and having no car, crippled my social life. But at least I'm still here to tell the story.)
 

Falcon_LS

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I suppose a lot of it has to do with "easy come, easy go". If you pay for something out of your own sweat and hard effort, you will not misuse it. But if its handed to you on a golden plate, which is usually the case with parents, then you could care less...which is what is happening here. A Denali goes for something like $40,000, and if that kid earned that money to pay for that truck, I don't think he would be driving it that way. Having said that, I passed my driving test in the UK (stick shift) at 19 with 2 minor mistakes. Then I went onto do more training, and sat another test to become an advanced driver. Prior to that, I've been driving since I was 14 off-road. When I returned home and sat the driving test, I was appalled. The theory test consisted of recognising 4 traffic signs and nothing else. The practical test, evaluated by a cop, was just parallel parking. I failed that because the cop was an idiot - I was driving a '99 Suburban and he put a metal roadblock at the centre of the parking spot where he wanted me to park, reducing its size to 2.5 metres and expected me to park my Suburban there. He failed me for "causing a scene". I found it laughable that I passed a strictly supervised test whilst I was in the UK, and ended up failing a horrible excuse of a test here. In the end, I had to resort to contacting somebody I know to transfer my British license instead of going through this all over again. With a system like this in place, where who passes and who doesn't depends on who you know, I'm frankly not surprised we have one of the highest accident rates in the world. Unless they put an end to this, and start taking driver training seriously, there will be a lot more idiots like this on the road.
 
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