Driving (R)Age

What is the national minimum driving age?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What was the most surprising thing you learned from this map?

  3. What's the minimum driving age in your state?

  4. Why don't we have a national minimum driving age?

  5. What would the typical Anti-Federalist say about whether we should have a national driver’s age? (I know, I know, they are all dead, you’ve never met an Anti-Federalist. Use your IMAGINATION!)

  6. Explain whether the U.S. of A. should have a national minimum driving age?

  7. How do you think accident rates compare in South Dakota (14.3 driving age) and New Jersey (17 driving age)?

  8. How do you think the US compares to the rest of the world in terms of driving age?*

  9. Describe the connection between the data from this map and federalism.

  10. Imagine that the Constitution had not been ratified - ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! and we were still ruled by the Articles Of Confederation -yiiiiiiiikes! How would that change the national discussion of things like driving age, marijuana legalization, same sex marriage?

  11. Imagine, on the other hand, that we lost the American War for Independence and were still ruled by a king who had absolute power: Boooooooooo! How would that change the national discussion of things like driving age, marijuana legalization, same sex marriage?

  12. Would you be willing for your state to raise the driving age by two years if your state also simultaneously lowered the drinking age by two years?

  13. Based on the map, to which state would you most want to move?

  14. Explain whether the U.S. has been moving towards or away from a more powerful federal government, relative to the states. Give one or two examples to support your claim.

  15. Describe how driving age regulations relate to checks and balances.

  16. Let’s say that you wanted to create a national minimum driving age. Describe the steps a bill would have to pass through to make this happen.

  17. Imagine that the national auto insurance coalition wants to create a national driving age. Describe three steps they could take to make this happen.

  18. In the comments section below, write your reaction to news that your state legislature is considering raising the minimum driving age in your state by one year.

*Visual Extension

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Learning Extension

States with strict graduated drivers licenses see up to 30% fewer crashes. Read this short report on three Senators who are trying to create a standard national graduated drivers license.

Action Extension

Contact your U.S. Senator and let them know what you think about a national graduated drivers license (GDL)

Our World In Data Extension

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