Teenage Driving

How safe does the average person feel sharing the road with teenagers?


Image taken by Delvin Arnold

Melissa Gaudreau , PaperClip Staff/Writer

In NH, the legal age to get your license is 16. Many states have different rules regarding newly licensed drivers, but people all over the country agree on one thing: teenage driving can be incredibly dangerous. 

According to the CDC, “In 2019, almost 2,400 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed, and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.” Even after all the required driving practice before getting a license, new drivers have little experience. 

Community members in downtown Portsmouth shared their own thoughts on how safe they feel with teenage drivers. 

Tia Almeida said, “I do not feel safe with such young people driving, not because of their age, but because of their lack of experience. The age doesn’t matter to me at all, it is just anyone that has little experience that makes me concerned.”

Jen Almeida, Tia’s sister in law, said, “Most of the teenagers I know are fairly responsible, so I do feel safe knowing kids like them are driving.”

Angela Harford said, “Typically kids who first get their license are more nervous and tend to focus on the road even more. Yet some are overly excited making them possibly reckless. Generally I wouldn’t let my kid drive in the car with a brand new driver because most kids don’t have enough experience.” 

Lexi Brigham, a teenager at Portsmouth High School, responded to this same idea. She said,  “Knowing that I have friends that sometimes look at their phone and get distracted easily, it makes me nervous to know that other people are likely doing the same thing, and they may not be as good at it as they think they are.” 

There are many different opinions on the subject. Some people believe first time drivers are more cautious, and some people believe they are more reckless. Nonetheless, driving can be incredibly dangerous. Everyone should be as cautious as possible to ensure not only their own, but other peoples safety as well.