As 2014 wraps up, we want to look back at our top blog posts for the year.
New CIRP@CHOP research shows that a significant decline in teen driver crash rates in New Jersey was sustained for two years following implementation of a law requiring novice drivers display a decal on their license plates to aid in enforcement of GDL provisions. Read about two new legislative education tools which teen driver safety advocates can use to re-start conversations with legislators to improve state GDL laws.
Download this fact sheet to share with policymakers to boost your state's GDL to keep older novice drivers safe.
Because New Jersey requires all newly-licensed drivers under age 21 to abide by full Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) provisions, we recently had the great opportunity to examine the influence of licensing age, driving experience, and GDL license phase on crash rates of novice drivers. Learn why age and experience matter with crash rates, according to a new report from Dr. Allison Curry.
Recent studies from CIRP@CHOP and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggest that organizations that support families with safe teen driving programs now need to think about the families of teens who are waiting to get licensed beyond their 18th birthday. A substantial proportion of teens are delaying that rite of passage until they can really afford and need to drive. According to the research, teens that delay licensure are more likely to be minorities and from households and zip codes with lower incomes.
Recent research tells us that nationally a significant minority of drivers get their licenses after their 18th birthday. These young drivers get licensed without the protective benefits of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), except in New Jersey where full GDL extends to all novice drivers under age 21, and without exposure to educational campaigns when they first begin to drive. For National Teen Driver Safety Week (#teendriving2014), CIRP@CHOP hopes to spark a new conversation about actions we can take to support this vulnerable group.
While restrictions during the early independent driving period help to reduce crashes during those first critical months by reducing exposure to high risk driving situations, teens still enter this phase with specific skill deficits that could have been addressed more effectively in the learner phase. Ideally, driver training and supervised practice during the Learner Permit phase would be focused on the critical safety-relevant errors that teens are likely to make so that teens enter the Intermediate License phase with better tactical driving skills, rather than just the vehicle operations skills necessary to pass a basic licensing exam.
How can we better connect to improve road traffic safety with a focus on how teens learn to drive? Researchers and traffic safety practitioners all want youth to grow to their full potential. Doing so will require joining proven effective skill-building and risk-reduction interventions across the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) continuum and making them broadly accessible through programs for diverse populations.
Principal Investigator of CIRP@CHOP's TeenDrivingPlan research, Jessica Mirman, describes the decision to focus her efforts on the learner period of GDL to answer the question, "How can we help parent supervisors make the most of their practice time with their teenagers?" Initial results show intervention increases variety of practice drives and improves teenagers' driving performance.
What a difference a few years make. When New Jersey implemented its first-in-the-nation decal provision as part of its Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program on May 1, 2010, it ignited a firestorm of protest from some parents and state legislators. Known as Kyleigh’s Law, it requires all 16- to 20-year-olds holding a learner’s permit or intermediate license to display a reflective decal on the front and back license plates of vehicles they are driving. Initial evidence from research conducted by CHOP shows that the decals work to reduce teen crash risk. A couple in Maine have created a pink decal of their own to help keep teens safe in memory of their daughter, Taylor, 15, who was killed in a crash with an inexperienced teen driver behind the wheel.