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The following appeared as part of a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.
ďIt makes no sense that in most places fifteen year olds are not eligible for their
driverís license while people who are far older can retain all of their driving
privileges by simply renewing their license. If older drivers can get these renewals,
often without having to pass another driving test, then fifteen year olds should be
eligible to get a license. Fifteen year olds typically have much better eyesight,
especially at night; much better hand-eye coordination; and much quicker reflexes.
They are also less likely to feel confused by unexpected developments or
disoriented in unfamiliar surroundings, and they recover from injuries more
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.
The conclusion of this argument is that 15-year-olds should be eligible to obtain a driverís license. The author employs two lines of
reasoning to reach this conclusion. In the first the author reasons that since older drivers can retain their driving privileges by simply
renewing their licenses, 15-year-olds should be eligible to obtain a license. In the second, the author reasons that 15-year-olds are
physically more capable than older drivers of performing the various skills associated with driving a vehicle and thus should be eligible to
get a license. This argument is unconvincing for a couple of reasons.
In the first place, the author assumes that there are no relevant differences between 15-year-olds and older drivers that would justify
treating them differently. This assumption is dearly mistaken. The major difference between the two groups, and the major reason 15-
year-olds are denied driving privileges, is their relative lack of emotional maturity and social responsibility. This difference is sufficient to
justify the policy of allowing older drivers to renew their driving privileges while at the same time denying these privileges to 15-year-olds.
In the second place, even if it is granted that fifteen year olds possess better night vision, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and are less
disoriented in unfamiliar surroundings than older drivers, these abilities do not qualify them to obtain a driverís license. The author
assumes that physical capabilities are the only attributes necessary to operate a motor vehicle. But this assumption is clearly mistaken.
In addition to these abilities, drivers must be able to exercise good judgment in all types of driving situations and conditions and must be
cognizant of the consequences of their decisions and actions when driving. It is because 15-year-olds typically lack these latter abilities
that they are denied driving privileges.
Page numbers AWA
In sum, the authorís argument fails to take into consideration important differences between older drivers and 15-year-olds that justify
denying driving privileges to the younger group while at the same time allowing older drivers to retain their privileges by simply renewing