Teenage drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled, compared with drivers
in other age groups. Young drivers tend to overestimate their driving abilities
and underestimate the dangers on the road. Graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws
reduce this risk by making sure teens gradually build up driving experience under
lower-risk conditions as they mature and develop skills. That means limiting nighttime
driving, restricting teen passengers and making sure teens get lots of supervised
practice. Graduated licensing has reduced teen crashes 10-30 percent on average.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have a 3-stage GDL system. The United
States doesn't have a national GDL law. State lawmakers decide what provisions to
adopt and how to enforce them. Institute research has show that states with the
strongest laws enjoy bigger reductions in teen driver deaths than states with weak
laws. Some states make teens wait a little longer before they get their learner
permits and full-privilege licenses. This also saves lives.
To see licensing requirements for every state and D.C., use the
For every state and D.C., the Institute has estimated the effects of strengthening
or weakening 5 key GDL provisions: permit age, practice driving hours, license age,
and night driving and passenger restrictions. The projections are based on research
showing what matters most when it comes to preventing fatal crashes and collision
claims among teen drivers. Use our calculator to
see the estimates for your state.