Allstate Insurance and the National Safety Council put together a report suggesting that an estimated 2,000 teen lives and $13.6 billion could be saved each year if all states enforce a comprehensive graduated driver licensing program (GDL).
While GDL programs are officiated in all 50 states, earning a driver’s license in some states are more demanding than others. States with stronger GDL programs have 38 percent fewer fatal crashes with young drivers than states with elementary GDL. In Iowa, for example, a teenager is allowed to gain a learner’s permit at the age of 14, and begin driving without restriction at age 17. In New York, teenagers must wait until their 16th birthday.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the recommended outline for a GDL program will set the minimum age for a learner’s permit at age 16. The learner stage must last a minimum of 6 months, wherein the teenager gains from 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving experience. The intermediate stage should last until 18 years old and include a ban on night driving as well as passenger restrictions.
Allstate and the National Safety Council’s report is timed very closely with the Congress’ consideration to reauthorize highway and infrastructure budget spending, which includes health and safety measures. A push for a standard GDL program across the country can better prepare young drivers.