Graduated driver licensing (GDL) in the United States in 2016: A literature review and commentary

Williams, Allan F.
Journal of Safety Research
December 2017

This is the sixth in a series of reviews of research on graduated driver licensing (GDL) published in the Journal of Safety Research, the present review covering the period mid-2012 through 2016. In the two decades since GDL programs began to be introduced on a widespread basis in the United States, a vast amount of research has been published. The current review discusses recent research and the present state of knowledge on the following topics: characteristics of the novice driver population; effects of GDL on crashes for ages 16–19; the learner and intermediate periods; night and passenger restrictions; cellphone laws; GDL for older novices; enforcement of GDL rules; and programs attempting to influence GDL compliance and safe driving practices in general. GDL stands out as a successful policy for reducing teen driver crashes and is worth building on to extend its benefits. Strengthening existing GDL programs has the most potential for producing further crash reductions.