Woah, there! Slow down. Everyone knows that you’re ready to get behind the wheel of a car and hit the rough roads. The only problem is you’re 14 years old and that’s too young… in most states.
There are a few states out there that have lower learner’s permit ages, which will allow you, a 14-year-old person, to drive on the roads.
You don’t even have to prove you’re a defensive driver by enrolling in traffic school online. You can grab that learner’s permit and go! So long as you live in that state as driver. To help you figure out if you’re eligible to drive, we’ve put together a list of which states it’s legal to drive at 14.
Where should I move to?
Every state has a different set of laws when it comes to driving ages. Living in one state could mean you’re not full licensed driver until the age of 18. Other states will make you a master driver by the age of 16. Below, you’ll find the complete list of states that give you a learner’s permit as early as 14 years of age:
● Idaho (14 years and 6 months)
● Michigan (14 years and 9 months)
● Montana (14 years and 6 months)
● North Dakota
● South Dakota
Looking at this list, you could begin to think that the driving ages are design completely arbitrarily. The only reason these rules exist is because there was a group of older people in government who wanted to free the roads from young whippersnappers. That might be true, but there’s also other reasoning behind the age restrictions on driving.
Age Restrictions and Why They Exist
The main reason why these age restrictions exist, is because the brain is still maturing. A study published in the Journal of Safety Research showed raising the age needed to receive your driver’s license reduces the number of accidents that young teens are in. Therefore, prohibiting teenagers, under the age of 16, from receiving their learner’s permits will account for less accidents on the road.
That’s why some states have held tight to the 16 or over regulations that we’re so very familiar with. It’s not because they’re trying to oppress your 14-year-old-who-knows-everything-about-the-world voice. The DMV and government bodies are trying to decrease the number of incidents on the road.
Prepping Your Teen for Driving
To help reduce the number of accidents on the road, it’s important to be safe and know how to be prepared as a driver. You might be a 14-year old in South Dakota who just got their learner’s permit, but that doesn’t mean you’re not prone to being in accidents. Here’s a few tips on being secure while behind the wheel.
Getting sleep is dire. You want to be well rested while traveling. If not, your reaction time is diminished, your vision is impaired, and… you’re a bit cranky. Be well rested enough to drive, especially for a growing teen!
Don’t be distracted while driving. Putting the cell phone away is another important trait of a good driver. It’s easy to fall victim to checking the phone when you’re at a stoplight, in traffic, or just bored. Whether texting and driving or having a drama filled conversation on the phone doesn’t matter. Distracted driving is just another reason why 14-year-old drivers might be too immature to operate a moving vehicle.
Finally, learn from teachers, instructors, and parents. They’re here to teach you how to be a safe driver. That’s why it’s important to learn from their lessons.
- Get Started on Your Driving Journey: Applying for a New California Driver’s License (For Teens)