Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Legislative advocacy is key to addressing teen driving deaths.

TitleLegislative advocacy is key to addressing teen driving deaths.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsGillan JS
JournalInj Prev
Volume12 Suppl 1
Date Published2006 Jun
KeywordsAccidents, Traffic, Adolescent, Automobile Driving, Humans, Law Enforcement, Licensure, Public Opinion, Risk Factors, Safety Management, United States

The increased crash risk of young, novice drivers, especially in their teenage years, has been a growing concern at both the state and federal levels. Teenage drivers are involved in fatal crashes at more than double the rate of the rest of the population per 100 000 licensed drivers. The best way of stemming these losses is to enact laws adopting graduated licensure systems that restrict young, novice drivers to conditions that reduce crash risk exposure when they first operate motor vehicles and to educate the public on the need for this legislation. Legislated teenage driving restrictions involve night-time vehicle driving restrictions, prohibitions on other teenage passengers, and the required presence of supervising adults. These restrictions are relaxed as teenage drivers successfully progress through initial and intermediate stages of graduated licensure before being granted unrestricted driver licenses. Unfortunately, many states have incomplete graduated licensing systems that need further legislative action to raise them to the desirable three-stage system that has been shown repeatedly to produce the greatest safety benefits. These state efforts should be buttressed by federal legislation that has proved to be crucial in allied driver behavioral concerns. Because reducing crash risk involves other strategies, stringent enforcement of primary seat belt laws as well as improved motor vehicle crash avoidance capabilities and crashworthiness must accompany efforts to reduce young driver crash risk.

Alternate JournalInj. Prev.
PubMed ID16788112