Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among US teenagers, accounting for 36% of all deaths for 15 to 19 year olds (www.nhtsa 2). There are many factors that make this statistic so high, alcohol, passengers, and just plain experience and maturity. In most high schools in the United States there are required driver’s education classes that the students must pass before graduating. There are also classes that you can choose to take to get out of paying for a ticket. But neither of these is required before actually getting your driver’s license.
The percentage of youth fatalities that were alcohol related in 1996 was 36.6% (www.mentalhealth 1). This is almost half of the fatalities that were caused by teenagers. The alcohol law in the United States is that you must be at least 21 years of age to consume any amount of alcohol. Nearly half the fatalities caused by teenagers are breaking this law that is obviously present for a reason. This is where the maturity and experience comes in. The teenagers today are not learning anything from these driver’s education courses; they are obviously not mature enough to be behind the wheel if these outrageous statistics show such a lack of responsibility.
Most people say that if they are mature enough to have a job, then they should be able to drive. Other’s say that if they are old enough to vote, and be drafted, then they should be able to drive. First, a job is something you need to have a reasonable amount of responsibility for; however, a job is not a life or death matter. A person can not show up for work, get fired, and have another job the next day. If a person makes one little turning mistake they can end their life, or worse, someone else’s.
Another main factor in the high fatality rate for youth is passengers. About 2 deaths occur every 10 million trips driven by 16 year olds. When there is one passenger in the ca