This printable supports Common Core ELA Standard ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2, ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 and ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6

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Benefits and Risks (Grades 11-12)

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Benefits and Risks

Benefits and Risks

Young people have very busy lives between going to school, spending time with friends, going to jobs, and participating in extracurricular activities. Between the ages of 16 and 21, they often find themselves needing to go here, there, and everywhere. It is completely understandable that parents are sometimes eager to relinquish some of the daily driving responsibilities. Many teens view getting their license as a coming of age experience, an unspoken initiation into adulthood. Not only does having a license make life easier and more enjoyable for teens, but it also tends to simplify life for their parents. From running errands and going to work to taking siblings to friends' houses or sharing the driving on family road trips, there are multiple advantages to having teen drivers in the household. Of course—there are also risks.

Studies have shown that 16-year-old drivers have a higher crash rate than at any other age. They talk and text on their cell phones more and wear their seat belts less than their adult counterparts. Worst of all, death rates have been shown to rise with each additional passenger riding with a driver under 17 years old.

One of the main causes of accidents involving teens is actually beyond their control. Research has shown that particular parts of the human brain, such as the section responsible for decision making, quick judgment and planning ahead, are not fully developed until the mid-20s. This theory has convinced some politicians and parents that the minimum driving age should be raised to at least 18, or even 21, however, the idea is not nearly as popular with young people.
What two things is this passage comparing?
  1. The amount of time teens and adults text while driving
  2. The differences between the capabilities of teen and adult brains
  3. The benefits and risks involved in teens being able to drive at age 16
  4. The risk to passengers when driving in a car with a teen or an adult
Which statement about teen drivers is the most accurate?
  1. They are more apt to wear their seat belts.
  2. They are unable to make rational decisions.
  3. They support raising the driving age to 21.
  4. They are higher risk drivers than adults are.
What is a primary reason to raise the driving age to 21?
  1. To allow a young person’s brain to mature
  2. To lessen the demands on parents
  3. To reduce the risk of cell phone use in the car
  4. To have more time to teach defensive driving skills
There are few, if any, advantages to having a teen driver in the house.
  1. True
  2. False
Some research has shown that the portion of the brain responsible for making good decisions is not fully formed until the                     .

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