Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Graduated Driver Licensing for Older Novice Drivers: Critical Analysis of the Issues.

TitleGraduated Driver Licensing for Older Novice Drivers: Critical Analysis of the Issues.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCurry AE, Foss RD, Williams AF
JournalAm J Prev Med
Date Published08/2017
Type of Articlejournal

Since the mid-1990s, all U.S. states have implemented Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems for young beginning (i.e., novice) drivers. GDL is designed to limit high-risk exposure as experience is gained and incorporates the fact that humans learn “how to do” largely “by doing” into the licensing process.Its basic components include a 6- to 12-month supervised learner period, followed by an intermediate license that restricts unsupervised driving at night and with young passengers. Introduction of GDL in the U.S. has led to substantial crash reductions, and GDL remains the only validated, successful approach to reduce young driver crashes.

Whereas jurisdictions outside the US -- including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Israel -- require GDL for novice drivers up to age 25 or older, only seven jurisdictions (CR, IN, ME, MD, MN, NJ, DC) currently require novice drivers age 18 or older to comply with one or more GDL provisions. Only three of these (NJ, IN, DC) apply full GDL rules, including nighttime and passenger restrictions, to all novice drivers under 21. Notably, however, the majority of international GDL systems lack key features considered essential in the US for a well-designed GDL system; few have passenger limits or meaningful night driving restrictions.

Alternate JournalAm J Prev Med
PubMed ID28864127