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Call to raise driving age

Call to raise driving age

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report making a case for raising the driving age, USA Today reported Tuesday.

According to the report 16-year-old drivers are the most likely to crash, so the Institute for Highway Safety said by raising the driving ages many lives could be saved.

Some states have already made attempts to raise the driving age including Deleware, Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts, but all have failed.

"Teens themselves have been growing up under a certain set of rules about when they can get their liscence," Adrian Lund, the president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told USA Today. "Parents get tired of being taxis," she told USA Today.

In an Associated Press article that ran in the Pioneer Press, Lund said raising the driving age will be a "tough sell" to teens and parents, but that car crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths.

Many teens are not enthusiastic about the idea.

"I would be really upset because I've waited SO long to drive," Diamante White, a 16-year-old in Reading, Pa., who got her permit in July told the Associated Press. She said learning to drive is "growing-up experience."

Parents in Minnesota aren't sure that changing the driving age is the best way to protect young drivers, according to a report in the Star Tribune.

"By 16, they have all these sports practices, and parents need help driving," Beth Clarine, the parent of a 16-year-old girl told the Star Tribune.

Clarine told the Star Tribune that she thinks the six month permit period and new state laws Minnesota adopted this year will be helpful in keeping teen drivers safe.

But, those who are advocating the change bring statistics to the table that show a need for change.

From 2005 to 2007 16-and 17-year old drivers were involved in 116 fatal crashes in Minnesota, which resulted in 133 deaths, the Star Tribune reported from the Minnesota Public Safety Department.

No matter what happens, conversations will occur about the issue in many states.

"From the state perspective, we think the new report... is a conversation starter," Jonathan Adkins, a spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association told USA Today. "Some states may want to consider raising the driving age, but it will be a non-starter in other states. We think it's worth dialogue and more research."