Most states in the U.S. have traditionally allowed a quick and easy path to a full-privilege driver's license at an early age. The results of these state policies are evident in the greatly elevated crash rates of 16 and 17-year-olds. Beginning in 1996, states have begun to introduce graduated licensing systems, in which driving privileges are phased in, allowing initial experience to be gained in lower-risk driving situations and ensuring that people are somewhat older before they obtain a full privilege license. Thirty-five states introduced one or more elements of graduated licensing in 1996-1999. There is substantial variation in these systems, in particular in regard to how states have dealt with the two major factors that increase crash risk for teenagers: driving at night and driving with teenage passengers. This presentation critically assesses the legislation enacted thus far, and reports results of early evaluations of graduated systems. Evaluations have been conducted both in the United States and Canada and indicate substantial reductions in crashes involving young drivers. Parents, interviewed before and after their sons and daughters went through graduated systems, strongly endorse the restrictions on driving.
Learning Objectives: At conclusion of this session, participants will become familiar with various state licensing laws applicable to teenage drivers and how they are now being replaced by graduated systems. Participants will know the rationale for the graduated licensing approach and the results of early research to evaluate effects of graduated licensing laws
Keywords: Motor Vehicles, Adolescents
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA