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The Best Way to Improve Road Safety Is to Increase the Minimum Legal Age for Driving - IELTS Essay


Some people think that the best way to improve road safety is to increase the minimum legal age for driving a car or motorbike - IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay

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Model Essay 1

Raising the minimum legal age for drivers is often proposed as a pivotal measure to enhance road safety. I strongly support this perspective, believing that it can significantly decrease road traffic incidents by ensuring that only mature and responsibly developed individuals are permitted to drive. This essay will delve into how higher age limits promote maturity and experience, alongside fostering safer driving habits.


Primarily, increasing the legal driving age allows individuals more time to mature mentally and emotionally before they begin driving. Adolescents are often impulsive and prone to risky behaviours due to underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes, which manage decision-making and risk assessment. By postponing the legal driving age, young individuals have additional time to develop these critical cognitive faculties. Studies in developmental psychology consistently indicate that older teenagers are more capable of making prudent decisions and recognizing long-term consequences than their younger counterparts. Consequently, older drivers are likely to handle the complex task of driving with greater caution and responsibility, thus reducing the probability of accidents.


Furthermore, a higher minimum driving age would indirectly result in drivers having more comprehensive education and training before they are allowed on the road. With additional years before they can legally drive, individuals have more opportunity to engage in structured driving education programs that emphasize safe driving practices. For example, in countries like Germany, where the driving age is strictly enforced alongside rigorous training, the incidence of road accidents involving young drivers is markedly lower compared to countries with lower driving ages. Extending the preparatory period before driving not only equips future drivers with better skills but also ingrains a deeper sense of road ethics and responsibility.


In conclusion, enhancing road safety through increased legal driving ages is a prudent strategy. It harnesses the natural maturation process of young people and integrates extensive preparatory training, leading to safer, more responsible drivers. This approach not only safeguards the drivers themselves but also significantly enhances overall road safety for all users.


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Model Essay 2

Some argue that raising the minimum legal driving age is the optimal strategy for enhancing road safety. I disagree with this view, contending instead that a combination of rigorous training and stricter enforcement of traffic laws would be more effective. This essay will discuss the limitations of age restrictions and explore alternative measures to improve road safety.


Firstly, increasing the minimum legal driving age might not directly correlate with enhanced road safety. Studies have shown that accident rates are less about age and more about experience and driving behaviour. For instance, a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States revealed that drivers who received comprehensive driving education were significantly less involved in accidents, regardless of their age. This suggests that effective training programs, rather than age restrictions, are crucial in developing skilled and cautious drivers. Hence, focusing solely on age as a determinant overlooks the importance of educational interventions that can equip young drivers with better driving skills and risk assessment capabilities, thus potentially reducing accident rates more effectively than age limitations.


Moreover, enforcing stricter traffic laws and penalties can serve as a deterrent against reckless driving behaviours which often lead to accidents. Implementing rigorous penalties for all age groups, including heavy fines, license suspensions, or mandatory defensive driving courses, can instill a culture of responsible driving. Such measures are essential in promoting adherence to road safety norms and reducing the incidence of fatal errors. Countries like Sweden have successfully reduced road mishaps not by limiting driving age but through aggressive traffic safety campaigns and stringent laws that apply to drivers of all ages. These comprehensive strategies ensure that safety measures address the behaviour of all drivers, enhancing road safety across the board. Such approaches not only prevent young drivers from committing violations but also hold all motorists accountable, ensuring a universal standard of road safety.


In conclusion, while increasing the driving age might seem a straightforward solution to road accidents, it does not address the broader issues of driving education and behaviour. A more comprehensive approach, focusing on enhanced driver education and stringent law enforcement, is essential for truly improving road safety.


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