The Worcester Telegram recently published an editorial in response to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s proposal to raise the minimum driving age across the country. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and the statistics show that younger drivers do have a higher rate of car accidents than those with more experience on the road.
However, according to the editorial, uniformly raising the minimum driving age is not the solution. As the writer points out, Massachusetts issues junior operator’s licenses to drivers aged 16.5. Before driving by themselves, teen drivers must hold a learner’s permit for at least six months and complete classroom driving instruction and training before the wheels. Teen drivers in Massachusetts must also follow restricted driving hours and obey a passenger limit.
Some would suggest the graduated licensing system used in Massachusetts might help drivers gain experience on the road without exposing them to unsupervised or unsafe driving conditions too soon.