Three Democratic senators are pushing for a national graduated driver licensing law (GDL) for teen drivers. As it stands now, state laws offer a patchwork of policies for teen drivers. 42 states allow a teen to obtain a learner’s permit before the age of 16.
The Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STAND UP) Act would affect teen drivers under the age of 21. STAND UP would raise the age of obtaining a learner’s permit to 16. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that alone would reduce the fatal crash rate of 15 to 17 year olds by about 13%. IIHS has found that about 50% of parents support raising the minimum licensing age, reports USA Today.
The age to obtain an unrestricted license would be raised to 18 as a minimum.
It would establish a three-tiered process including a learner’s permit, an intermediate stage before an unrestricted driver’s license. Nighttime driving would be prohibited during the first two stages. Cellphone use would be prohibited while driving during the first two phases. Federal highway money would be withheld from states that did not participate with the minimum standards after three years.
AAA has stated that the STAND UP is very close to a model GDL.
Experienced Jacksonville injury lawyers are familiar with the unfortunate fact that auto accidents are the leading cause of death of teens. The IIHS has found that major GDL restrictions reduce crashes between 10 and 30%. In states that implemented restrictions, fatal crashes among drivers under the age of 18 dropped 75% in three years, injuries fell 38%.