Study: Graduated Teen Licenses Curtail Accidents by 68 Percent

By Jacob Brown | August 21, 2013
The other night, I was having a discussion with an auto industry colleague. That person is firmly entrenched in the camp of adding safety technologies to make everyone safer, like smart cruise control and collision prevention radars. I, on the other hand, am of the philosophy that making drivers better with tougher license procedures will make everyone safer. According to a new study, there's evidence to suggest that making drivers practice different on-road procedures when getting their licenses is the better way to go, at least with teenagers. According to the California AAA, a graduated license program implemented for teenagers has led to a decrease in accidents by 68 percent over the last 10 years. In 1998, 18,000 teenagers were injured or killed in California in car accidents. That's before most of them even had cell phones. As of 2010--the latest statistics available--just 8,000 16- or 17-year-olds were injured or killed. "Parental involvement, more time behind the wheel, removing young passengers from the vehicle and limiting late night driving have all helped reduce teen driver crashes and are all part of GDL," said the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Senior Traffic Safety Researcher Steven A. Bloch, Ph.D, in a statement. "We need parents and teens to continue to understand and follow the law to further reduce crashes." In California, the graduated license program has three big rules:
  • Teens must hold a temporary permit for six months and have a parent-signed note saying they had driven 50 hours of practice, 10 of which must be at night.
  • A new driver must not have any passengers under the age of 20 unless he or she is over the age of 25.
  • With the exception of emergencies, a new driver cannot drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the first 12 months of holding a license.
Fatalities have dropped, too, with 16-year-olds having the most drastic reduction. Follow the link at the bottom to read the full report. Do you like the idea of graduated license program?
Source: California AAA