A national evaluation of the nighttime and passenger restriction components of graduated driver licensing

James C. Fell, Michael Todd, Robert B. Voas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The high crash rate of youthful novice drivers has been recognized for half a century. Over the last decade, graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems, which extend the period of supervised driving and limit the novice's exposure to higher-risk conditions (such as nighttime driving), have effectively reduced crash involvements of novice drivers. Method: This study used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the implementation dates of GDL laws in a state-by-year panel study to evaluate the effectiveness of two key elements of GDL laws: nighttime restrictions and passenger limitations. Results: Nighttime restrictions were found to reduce 16- and 17-year-old driver involvements in nighttime fatal crashes by an estimated 10% and 16- and 17-year-old drinking drivers in nighttime fatal crashes by 13%. Passenger restrictions were found to reduce 16- and 17-year-old driver involvements in fatal crashes with teen passengers by an estimated 9%. Conclusions: These results confirm the effectiveness of these provisions in GDL systems. Impact on Public Health. States without the nighttime or passenger restrictions in their GDL law should strongly consider adopting them. Impact on Industry: The results of this study indicate that nighttime restrictions and passenger limitations are very important components of any GDL law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Effectiveness
  • Fatal crash involvements
  • Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)
  • Night restrictions
  • Novice drivers
  • Passenger limitations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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