What is at the top of most teens to-do list? They can't wait to get behind the wheel. A teen must be 17 to join the military, 18 to vote or smoke, and 21 to drink, but can drive when much younger.
When can a teen legally drive? Minimum driving ages vary from state to state. Unrestricted licenses are available in all states for 18-year-olds.
Depending on the state, your teen might be able to:
In most nations, 18 is the most commonly accepted minimum age for a learner's permit or provisional license. In the U.S., the debate on whether or not the average 16-year-old should have an unrestricted license resulted in the adoption of graduated licenses. These licenses typically carry a curfew on night driving, prohibit underage passengers, and require parental supervision.
Too often, these restrictions are ignored with deadly consequences.
There are legitimate reasons for allowing teens to drive including:
The reasons for allowing teens to drive primarily concern convenience. Those in favor of raising the driving age cite safety concerns.
Every parent must decide when their teen is ready to begin driving — sometimes this is earlier, and for some that comes later.
At the first sign of irresponsible behavior, strongly consider revoking driving privileges for a while. Putting up with a teen's unhappy behavior is better than getting the news that your child was killed or seriously injured in a car crash.