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Should Ohio teens wait longer to get their licenses?

Recently, Ohio lawmakers have proposed House Bill 106, which aims to increase how long teens have to wait to get their license after their permit and add additional parental supervision time at later hours.

This new proposal has drawn mixed reactions. Many believe it to be unfair considering how early teens could get in other states while others consider the dangers that teens face and cause while they are on the roads. While the bill isn’t passed yet, parents of upcoming teenage drivers should consider the benefits and downsides of their children getting their licenses at such an early age before the driving test is taken.

The advantages

One of the most common arguments against the new proposal is how it would take away most of the conveniences that come with learning to drive early. Students become much more active in high school with their extracurricular activities and potential jobs, so parents wouldn’t have to worry about driving between school and their jobs so much if their kids don’t have a ride back.

Additionally, many parents believe that having children become independent drivers when they are younger means they will adapt to the road and driving by themselves at a much faster rate. Those who delay getting their license significantly could struggle to drive on their own when it becomes much more essential as they grow older.

The disadvantages

Car crashes are the leading cause for teen fatalities in Ohio. According to the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, crash rates are much higher for 16-year-old drivers, which is part of why local lawmakers want to raise the age limit to 16 and a half.

While some aspects of driving have gotten safer over the years, some have gotten worse. Using the phone behind the wheel is now the most popular form of distracted driving, and teens are guiltier of doing this than any other demographic. Even though more young drivers are aware of the issue, it still doesn’t stop thousands of motorists every year from sending a text while driving.

Regardless of whether you encourage your child to get their license early or not, you should remain aware that not every danger they face on the road is their fault. They aren’t the only inexperienced drivers heading to school every morning in Ohio. As more young motorists are occupying the roads, it is important that you review what legal options you have at your disposal in case you suffer from a major accident.