Should teenagers have driver license restrictions and if so, what would they be? In no more than 4-5 pages, base your recommendations using four developmental (biological/brain, social (parents, peers), identity and cognitive perspectives based on material from your text and class notes.
Should teenagers have driver license restrictions?
Adolescence is the period that stands between puberty and the beginning of adulthood. Adolescents involves children changing into adulthood and it entails them growing physically, emotionally and cognitively. It is during this period that adolescents not only develop self-sense but also strive to establish their own identities thereby creating important social relationships with peers. At this stage they develop more advanced patterns of reasoning too.
Teenagers should have driver license restrictions put in place by the relevant authorities. This is because there exists a number of reasons which reflect how poor teenage drivers can be. One of the factors that may contribute to the issuance of restrictions on the teenager’s driving license, is that the adolescent brain and mind is at a vulnerable stage in the development of a person. The teenagers though capable of reasoning logically like an adult, their emotional and social development portions of their young hasn’t developed fully and is insatiably seeking for sensual novelty and arousal.
Another fact is that the brains of teenagers is also prone to peer pressure and distractions because it is in the process of growth and development. Research has it that the part of the brain which is liable for the regulation of impulses, helping in making of judgment and decisions develops and matures appropriately when an individual gets into his late 20s and therefore adolescents do not act thoughtfully but impulsively. Impulsive behavior may be brought about by the hormonal surge which influences emotional responses during puberty. Adolescents are unable to make rational judgments or curb impulsive behavior because their brains is not capable of doing so and that makes them prone to risky behavior such as the abuse of drugs, alcohol, unprotected sex and dangerous driving. Feelings of egocentrism are also witnessed in adolescents when they attain new cognitive abilities. The teenagers feel they can do whatever they wish and that they know better than anyone else. When one adds all this to the complexity of driving and teenager’s tendency to make wrong decisions such as speeding more and using the seat belts less then there is a dire need to ensure teenagers have driver license restrictions put in place.
It is evident that an adolescent faces many trials and tribulations because they are vulnerable to distractions and peer pressure. Majority of adolescents experiment with alcohol and illegal drugs such as bhang and cocaine at this stage often before they graduate from high school. Some of these habits develop into addiction and the teenagers find themselves developing drinking problems which affect their studies negatively as well as their thinking capacity and judgment. When these teenager who is addicted to drug and substance abuse acquires a driver license, there is a high probability that he will cause an accident due to poor judgment when he or she drives under the influence of alcohol or that drug. Therefore it is appropriate to issue driver license restrictions to the teen drivers so as to cub road carnages. It is also at this stage that teenagers have a tendency of breaking the law. Drug and alcohol abuse greatly contribute to the teenagers’ tendency of breaking laws because their effects at this young age cause addiction and brain damage.
On the social development front, adolescents tend to create new attachments. At this stage they become more inclined to their peers than to their parents because their main social task is finding their own identity. In trying to find out their unique identities the teenagers may experience role confusion in which they balance or choose among identities. These adolescents may end up taking on negative identities or identities that are undesirable. It is not easy coming up with a social identity and some teenagers take very many years to establish one. Teenagers in the process of developing an identity can possess different identities for various locations or circumstances but eventually they are successful in merging the various options into a single self-concept and identity. Their peer groups do help them establish their self-concept and self-identity. These new attachments make the teenagers drive alone or in the company of their peers and this may be dangerous because they need supervision from their parents so to act responsibly and drive carefully.
During adolescents, independence is acquired but it requires development of morality and independent thinking. Lawrence Kohlberg states that moral development follows a series of stages and that children learn their moral values through active thinking and reasoning. During adolescence, the stage is known as the conventional morality. Here the child begins to care about how situational outcomes impact others and wants to please and be accepted. During adolescents, teenagers are able to value the good that can be derived from holding to social norms in the form of laws or less formalized rules.
It is very important that the Department of Motor Vehicles make recommendations that teenage drivers with licenses to drive in the company of their parents or guardians as a way to encourage them to act responsibly and drive carefully. Another restriction that can be enforced is that the teenage drivers should drive at considerably low speeds because they are incapable of making right judgments when in dangerous situations. Another restriction to be enforced is that no alcohol should be sold to a teenager and any teenager found driving while in the influence of substance and alcohol should be punished with a considerable high fine and his or her license revoked. Teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to drive at night due to the vulnerability of making wrong decisions.