At what age do ya think a kid should start driving?

I know there are legal ages, but IN YOUR OPINION, what age is best and why do you feel that way? I say 20 years old.

sorry for the Italics bracket error. Ooops. lol If a mod could fix that for me, I’d appreciate it.

You forgot to state why you think 20 is a good age. I think 15 is plenty old enough for a learner’s permit and afterwards some sort of restricted license until the age of 18.


I lean to thirty, but I spent some years driving cab.

For that matter so did I. Fifteen seems like a good age to learn how to drive, which is a basic and necessary skill for many in the United States, though they should do so under supervision. I have no objections to a sixteen year old with a license but I think that license should be under certain restrictions because young people do a lot of stupid things. Ie. limit the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle, driving hours, etc.


Ha, I was so concerned with making the post look correct, I forgot to state “why”. lol

Anyways, I feel that most children just aren’t mentally developed enough to operate a motor vehicle safely. Immaturity and partying also play a big factor in my decision as well.

If you’re Tiger Woods; three.

IN MY OPINION, this belongs in IMHO, not GD.

And off it goes. . . .

One year older than my son is, whatever his age! :smiley:

Actually, I think 15 is generally just fine for learning, with restrictions, as previously mentioned. However, living in Chicago, I do think a good case could be made for delaying driving within the congested city limits. I grew up in the suburbs and refused to drive in the city until I was in my mid-twenties. I just didn’t have the skills and experience to deal with that many other people doing that many other stupid things in such a small space - drivers, pedestrians, bikes, double parked delivery trucks, etc. Considering the availability of public transportation in the city, I would like to see the driving age within city limits raised to 25, same as renting a car. I don’t really see it happening, however.

Technically, debates are opinion. So technically, it was in the proper place. But hey, you’re the mod and I’m not. :wink:

I agree with WhyNot that it should depend on the area. I first drove a car at around 12 years old. It was on a private drive out where there were no other cars. I think it’s good for kids to get an idea of how a car works and how to handle it. My Mom wanted to make sure that I could handle a car in an emergency situation.

For supervised driving in lower-traffic areas, I think somewhere between 14 and 16 is good.

Driving unsupervised in the city should probably require some experience beforehand.

I start letting mine drive around the farm and on logging roads at about age 12. This very afternoon, there were two 15-year old girls here that were having a problem mastering a stick-shift. I gave each about five minutes of instruction, then got out of the truck and told ‘em to take off: “Don’t come back for at least two hours. Take turns driving.”
When they came back two hours later, they both were up-shiftin’ and down-shiftin like pros. No new dents in the truck, no blood, and according to them, no unidentified body in a ditch.
I realize most people don’t have a situation like this, but by the time kids in my family are old enough to take a driver’s test, they are experienced and capable.

I think 14 for a learner’s permit and 16 for a full driver’s permit is fine. It’s such a relief to be able to say: “You’ve got basketball practice tonight? Fine, drive your own butt there and back”. :slight_smile:

Drive? What?

Motorcycles, go-karts, tractors, lawn-mowers etc etc I say about 4 yrs old. Hell, my kid drives all manor of stuff around here.

Licenced to drive a “motor vehicle” on the road? 18. After rigerous testing. And not just multiple choice bullshit. Actual vehicle control. Skidpad and all the rest.

What age they should start LEARNING? As early as possible, of course. Driving is a great skill to have and being a good driver might save his/her life some day.

What age they should start DRIVING? As soon as they can afford a car, insurance, gas, maintainance, etc.

I mean, presumably at that point there’s not much you can do to STOP them. :slight_smile:

The big killer is experience. Maturity comes with practice, because you just know that most people who get their licenses immediately decide to “see what she can do”, that’s just the way it is, no judgment in it (BTW, my 1st car topped out at 125). Partying? Most DUIs are from people over 21. Mental development? How does one quantify that?

Getting back to my first statement, is a new driver at age 20 any better than a new driver at age 15? I would say no simply because neither of them have any experience and have never handled situations that may come up except maybe in a class. Theory is not the same. For instance, ABS-equipped cars automatically cycle the brakes during a panic stop. Non-ABS cars rely on the operator. How many of you during a panic stop simply put your foot to the ground and keep it there? I admit that I do, even though I know better. Now, consider that every such decision is new to the driver no matter how old they are. The learning curve is steep, and it only diminishes by going out and driving.

Driving is not a physical skill. I can teach anyone to drive a stick in a few minutes. Driving on the street is a mental exercise in good judgement. If I were to use the last program I watched on human development then I would chose age 17. Supposedly that is the age when the part of the brain that deals with judgement fully matures.

I see no problems starting at any age, provided it is off public roads.

On public roads, in the UK the age limit is 17, which is Ok in some areas, but definitely not in others.

I think that in congested areas there is a very good case for restricting the size and power of cars that can be driven by someone with less than (say) ten years experience.

In France, in the country, you quite often see tiny little cars parked outside bars. It seems that persistant drunk drivers are allowed jumped up golf carts - on the basis that otherwise they would be totally stranded.

In the UK I would call those ‘town cars’ and restrict people to driving those for the first five years unless they had attended a very serious advanced driving course.

I think it’s fine where it is (16 here, with a restricted license for at least two years after passing your test). There’s no real reason that I can see to push it higher, and if the kid is old enough to hold a job then I think they’re old enough to provide their own transportation to it.

when they’re old enough to face the consequences of an accident.

One of the best things my folks did for me was to teach me how to drive at a very young age. About 11. Now I didn’t go out into heavy traffic or anything, it was all rural roads, or the Mobile Home park we owned.

By the time I got my license I already had pretty much experience.