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Teenage Drivers
Most teenage deaths occur at night and on weekends. Teens suffer higher fatality rates when driving with their friends. Driving is a lifetime skill. Upgrade your skills periodically.

Most novice drivers crash within the first 10 months of receiving their license. The best way to reduce this likelihood is to gradually phase in driving privileges, so the novice can develop confidence through supervised experience until safely passing this window of danger.


Car crashes are the leading killer of 15 - 20 year olds. Teens crash more because: they are inexperienced drivers; are immature; have less understanding of danger; take more risks; experiment with drugs and alcohol; and pattern their behavior for social acceptance and conformity. Teens are less apt to wear safety belts than children and adults and are more apt to speed. In a crash, they are usually at fault. They suffer higher fatality rates when driving with their peers.

Basic restrictions include:
Time of day teens may drive,
Number of teen passengers,
Mandatory on-the-road experience,
with/without parental supervision.

Graduated Licensing Programs typically involves a two or three step process that introduces teens to full driving privileges.

Most states require minimal in car training and experience. Apart from responsible parental involvement in their teen’s learning process, the single-most effective tool in reducing teen death is graduated licensing (GDL). Consisting of mandatory driver education, behind-the-wheel demonstrations and parent involvement, graduated licensing programs are designed to reduce risk exposure while enabling new drivers to develop proficiency. In the states where they are in practice, GDL programs have significantly reduced crash-related teen deaths and injuries.

These steps permit new drivers to develop their judgment and skills over a greater period of time. They permit greater in-car training during daytime and night time and provide ample motivation for teens to develop and practice safe driving habits. Upon demonstrating responsible driving behavior, restrictions are gradually suspended, however they may be reinstated if teens are convicted of serious offenses. This way, teens achieve more maturity before gaining a full and unrestricted license.

© 2014 The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc.