An estimated 2,000 teen lives and $13.6 billion could be saved each year if all states had comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs, according to a new report from Allstate and the National Safety Council.
Currently, GDL programs are implemented in all 50 states, but their strength varies. All have three stages: learners, intermediate, and unrestricted. However, they vary in the ages for each stage, time of supervised driving, restrictions on unsupervised driving, and when restrictions are lifted.
The study found that states with strong GDL programs (5 or more components) had 38 percent fewer fatal crashes with young drivers compared with states that had just one GDL element resulting in just 4 percent fewer crash deaths.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests an optimal GDL program would have the minimum age for a learner's permit at 16, have the learner stage lasts at least 6 months, and include at least 30-50 hours of supervised driving. The intermediate stage should last until at least 18 and include a night driving restriction and a passenger restriction.
The new Allstate and NSC study is aimed to teach the public about the importance of graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs. It is also timed with Congress considering reauthorization of highway and infrastructure spending, which includes health and safety measures.
For more on your state’s GDL program, see the IIHS summary of each state.
See our special section on teen car safety and distracted driving.