Graduated licensing calculator

This calculator uses Institute research to show how changes to state provisions might affect collision claims and fatal crash rates among young drivers. For every state and D.C., the Institute has estimated the effects of strengthening or weakening five key graduated driver licensing 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.

Definitions

Collision claims
Frequency of collision claims per 100 insured vehicle years for 16-17-year-old rated drivers (an insured vehicle year is 1 vehicle insured for 1 year, 2 vehicles insured for 6 months each, etc.
Fatal crashes
Rate of 15-17-year-old passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes per 100,000 teens.
Permit age
The first step to becoming a licensed driver is a learner permit. In this stage, teens can only drive with adult supervision. States can reduce teens’ fatal crashes by raising the minimum permit age.
Practice hours
Most states require a minimum number of supervised hours behind the wheel before progressing from the learner stage to an intermediate license. Requiring more practice hours reduces the number of collision claims filed for novice drivers.
License age
The older teens are when they first become eligible for a license, the fewer fatal crashes there are. Increasing this minimum age is a proven way to reduce crashes and deaths among young drivers.
Night driving
Most states restrict teens in the intermediate stage of licensure from driving without adult supervision at night. Starting times vary. Restrictions that start at 9 p.m. reduce teen driver fatal crash rates an estimated 18 percent and collision claim frequencies an estimated 8 percent, compared with no restriction.
Passengers
When a beginning driver travels with other teens in the car, the risk of a fatal crash increases. Most states limit the number of passengers that may ride along with intermediate-stage drivers without adult supervision. When teen passengers are prohibited, 15-to-17-year-old drivers’ fatal crash rates are 21 percent lower than when two or more are allowed. Allowing only one teen passenger reduces the rate 7 percent.

Best GDL provisions by state

Permit age of 16

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • D.C.
  • Kentucky
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island

70 supervised practice hours

  • Maine

Licensing age of 17

  • New Jersey

8 p.m. night driving restriction

  • Idaho (sunset to sunrise)
  • South Carolina (6 p.m. EST)

No teen passengers

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • D.C.
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Background research

Graduated driver licensing laws and insurance collision claims frequencies of teenage drivers

Graduated licensing laws and fatal crashes of teenage drivers: a national study

Find out more about calculator methodology.