California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (those are still four funny words to write) signed into law this week a rule that mandates that teenage drivers cannot use cell phones while driving a car.
This is a good idea. But the real solution to this problem is far more radical. Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds in Maryland. Anna Quindlen wrote an editorial in Newsweek last month attacking the logic of allowing 16-year-olds to drive. Her logic is unassailable.
It is an article of faith in Maryland that sixteen is the driving age. When I was a kid, it was an article of faith that putting your kids in the back of a station wagon with a seat belt was not child abuse. I cannot tell you how many fatal car accidents our lawyers have handled involving young kids who either died or killed someone else. I suspect in the next 10 years, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and a lot of other states will raise the driving age to 18. As a result, my office will have fewer wrongful death cases. We won’t miss these lost clients.