Gallup: Most Americans Think Drivers Should Be at Least 17

By: E&P Staff

In a surprising finding, a new Gallup Poll found that a majority of Americans (61%) say that people should be 17 years old or older before they are allowed to drive, the organization reported today

A plurality of Americans, 42%, think 18 is the right age. This represents a ?significant shift? in the past decade, Gallup said. In 1995, the largest group of Americans, 46%, said driving at 16 was fine.

Women are more cautious than men, with just 29% of them saying 16 is a good age, compared to 42% of men.

Even young adults (18 to 29) are more inclined to say licenses should be given at age 18 (43%) than age 16 (36%).

One reason for this shift: In a separate poll, 25% of teens 16 or 17 years old admitted they have (illegally) consumed alcohol, and 13% said they had been in a car with a driver their age who had been drinking.

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