Increasing The Driving Age - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Increasing The Driving Age

Parent Karlan Thomas Parent Karlan Thomas
Teen Driver Morgan Amburn Teen Driver Morgan Amburn
Sophomore Jacob Hoeffner Sophomore Jacob Hoeffner
Local Insurance Agent Clark Damon Local Insurance Agent Clark Damon

You could be driving your teen around a little longer than expected. An auto safety group is pushing lawmakers to raise the minimum driving age from 16 to 17 years old.

In 5 years, close to 4-thousand teens have been involved in a fatal accidents, according to a recent study on teen driving.

For that reason some say it is necessary to change the age. Parent Karlan Thomas says teens are irresponsible need to be cautious. "They need to learn they aren't the only ones in the road. Obey the rules can't weave in and out of traffic. Can't cut someone off just because they need to get over and didn't bother to look . Let people know what you're doing, " Thomas said.

Teen driver Morgan Amburn says it's unfair to judge them because of their age. "I don't think it's fair I mean you should have the experience when you're younger not older. I think it's a good thing to start off practicing and working your way up," she said.

Sophomore Jacob Hoeffner agrees judging a person's driving ability on age is wrong. "It goes both ways young and old it just depends on the person," he said. 

Local insurance agent Clark Damon says there is enough regulation for young drivers through the state's graduated driver's license program. "You can't get a full driver's license in Texas until. You are 15 and have a restricted (license) and even at 16 you don't get your full license for 6 months," he said.

Texas ranks 26th nationally in the number of teen involved fatal crashes by state with 3,926 fatal accidents between 2002 and 2006. 

Male vs. Female
70.6%   of fatal crashes involve males, 29.4% females

Metro vs. Rural
28.1%   of fatal crashes occur in metro areas, 62.6% occur in rural areas - a 122.8% difference

Age Factors
31 %    of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are age 19 
30.5%   of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are age 18
21.2%   of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are age 17
14.4%   of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are age 16
2.9%    of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are age 15

Hoeffener says young or old safety on the road is everyone's responsibility. "People just need to pay attention, focus on the road instead of multi tasking no matter what age".

Governor Rick Perry's office says there is no need to change the minimum driving age because there are plenty of driving programs in place for teens.

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