According to an article published on nih.gov, one of the most successful programs that helped reduce the number of accidents involving young drivers is “Graduated Licensing.” In the past, all states relied on driver’s education, a written test, and a driver’s test. However, all 50 states have implemented some form of a “Graduated” driver’s licensing process. Fortunately, the graduated licensing concept has been a success. Now state officials should consider strengthening these programs.
Studies conducted in several states have confirmed that graduated licensing decreases collisions by between 20% to 30%, and the positive effects are starting to be felt on a more national level.
One of the ways to strengthen the effectiveness of the graduated driver’s licensing process is to get parents of young drivers and law enforcement to enforce compliance. When parents make sure their young drivers comply with all graduated licensing restrictions, the young drivers become safer drivers, and their accident risks decline.
Another way to improve the effectiveness of graduated licensing laws might include auto insurance discounts. For example, an insurance company could offer financial incentives to parent of young drivers for participating in studies, surveys, safe driver apps, and additional driver’s safety education programs.
The best results would come from more robust plan offering incentives, education programs, and parent and police involvement. The article states that the most promising strategy would include a comprehensive approach with a coordinated community-based program.
The most critical age group is the 16 to 17 age group. Of course, new drivers are at risk for accidents. However, older drivers are more likely to participate in unsafe driving behaviors such as following too closely and speeding. Sixteen-year-olds are also at a risky stage of adolescent development. For this reason, many countries do not issue driver’s licenses to drivers 16 years of age or younger.
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