In 1997 Michigan became the first jurisdiction to enact a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program that, among other essential requirements, expected certification by a responsible adult that a young driver had received extended, supervised practice. Such a requirement is critical for an effective GDL program, but policy makers have been reluctant to place such requirements on parents. A survey found Michigan parents extremely positive about the new program, including the supervised practice requirement. The effect of Michiganís new law on young driversí traffic crashes, therefore, has been eagerly anticipated. The purpose of the study reported here is to evaluate the impact of Michiganís GDL program on young beginning drivers through examination of crash rates before and after program implementation. Outcomes of interest include rates of drivers involved in total crashes as well as fatal, injury, single-vehicle, nighttime, and alcohol-involved crashes. In preliminary analyses, for example, police-reported crash data for 16-year-olds were examined in 1996 and 1998, the years before and after the introduction of GDL. The rate of 16-year-old drivers involved in fatal/injury crashes per 1,000 licensed drivers was 73 in 1996, and 49 in 1998. These promising findings should be interpreted with considerable caution, however, because 16-year-olds in 1998 included a mix of drivers licensed under the old system, newly independent GDL drivers, and drivers still in their supervised practice phase of the new system. Analyses will be extended through 1999, once crash data are available in spring 2000, and can be reported in November.
(National Highway Traffic Safety Administration support)
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant will be able to: 1) Identify the critical components of an effective graduated licensing law. 2) Recognize the considerations necessary for developing an appropriate evaluation plan. 3) Describe the evaluation results to date of Michigan's graduated licensing law
Keywords: Adolescents, Injury Prevention
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: State of Michigan (law)
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