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Monday, June 25, 2012

Graduated Driving License Law Calculator

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has added a new Graduated Driving License (GDL) Calculator to its website. GLs are designed to provide an extra level of training and experience for a teen driver prior to licensing as a fully qualified motor vehicle operator. 

Effective GL laws:
  • ·         Set a minimum age for licensing
  • ·         Set a minimum number of driving practice hours
  • ·         Limit night time driving
  • ·         Limit the number of passengers a teen can carry
  • ·         Prohibit the use of electronic communication devices except to call 911

These limitations, if followed, allow a newly licensed teen to gain driving experience without exposure to the distractions of other passengers or cell phones and prohibit late night driving, the most dangerous time for a teen driver.

GDLs have been proven to work and they are credited with the significant decline in teen driving deaths over the past few years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen traffic deaths have declined by forty six percent between 2001 and 2010, thanks mostly to GDL laws.

However not every state’s GDL laws are equal.  The IIHS created this calculator to show the current level of GDL laws in each state and allows comparison to other states. For instance, while the state of Florida requires a minimum of 50 practice hours for teens on a learner’s permit and prohibits drivers under the age of 17 from driving between the hours of 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM, there are no other restrictions on the number of passengers a teen can carry or a teen’s ability to use wireless communication devices while driving.

The IIHS GDL calculator shows that if Florida matched its GDL laws to the level of those states with the strongest GDL laws, Florida would experience a nineteen percent reduction in collision claims and, most important, a forty-five percent drop in fatal collisions. Just limiting the number of passengers alone would result in a reduction of fatal collisions by twenty-one percent.

To review and compare the GDL laws in your state, visit the IIHS website at: http://www.iihs.org/laws/gdl_calculator.aspx

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