When teenagers first get behind the wheel, the parents of these newbie drivers are probably worried sick. Parents have a good reason to fret about their youngsters since teens are in the demographic group most likely to be involved in automobile accidents. Young people often make unsafe choices behind the wheel because they do not yet have the necessary driving experience to avoid collisions or because they are influenced by peer pressure and immaturity.
However, there are ways to reduce the number of teenagers involved in motor vehicle accidents. Graduated licensing programs, for example, have made a substantial impact in making teenagers safer on the roads.
Improving Road Safety With Graduated Licensing
Graduated license programs make teenage drivers go through several stages before they get their full license. Teens get a permit to drive first and must drive only with supervision. They then move on to a restricted intermediate license and finally are given a full license.
Graduated licensing programs were first established in 1996 when the state of Florida passed a rule imposing graduated licensing on young drivers. Today, every state in the country has a graduated licensing program in place in order to slowly introduce teenagers to the responsibilities associated with operating a motor vehicle.
Impact of Graduated Licensing Programs
The introduction of graduated licensing programs nationwide has had a substantial positive impact on reducing the death rate for young drivers.
Based on studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents was down by 7% from 2017 to 2018
While other factors have also helped play a role in bringing down the rate of fatal teen crashes, graduated licensing programs are responsible for a 10 to 30 percent decline in fatal crashes with teen drivers. Some safety advocates believe that if every state imposed the strictest regulations for its graduated licensing program, the rate of collisions with teen drivers would decline even more substantially.
Graduated licensing programs have undoubtedly helped make teenagers safer on the roads. Although teen drivers remain at high risk, fewer fatalities and injuries are happening thanks to more restrictions on their right to drive.