- 1.Strict Graduated Driver's Licensure (GDL) laws should be adopted by all states in the United States, along with similar efforts in other countries. These GDL laws should be as uniform as possible across states.
- 2.The three-stage cycle should begin after the adolescent reaches his/her 16th birthday and each stage should take a minimum of 6 months to complete. All providers who see adolescents should have a working knowledge of these guidelines.
- 3.Appropriate anticipatory guidance for parents and adolescents should be implemented at the beginning of at least 2 years before the initiation of the licensure process. This guidance should:
- (a)be part of appropriate preventive health counseling for all adolescents and their families;
- (b)inform parents of the importance of modeling appropriate driving behaviors for their adolescents;
- (c)be accompanied by the provision of written materials and sample behavioral contracts, which can serve to guide the interaction of parents and adolescents regarding safe driving behaviors; and
- (d)include recommendations regarding adolescent exclusive use of safe and properly equipped vehicles (such as those that include front and side air bags, antilock brakes and stability control systems).
- 4.All health care providers are encouraged to advocate for uniform laws that will protect the health and well-being of adolescents. Advocacy may include working with local governments, schools, and youth-serving organizations to ensure the adoption and enforcement of strong guidelines for the protection of teenagers. In particular, providers should encourage parents to not solely rely on school-based drivers education programs, as these programs have not been well-tested, and have been shown to have only modest if any positive long-term effects []. Further, there is some evidence that such school-based, single-day drivers education programs may lead to a potentially significant increase in crash rates as a result of early licensing []. If teenagers are to participate in school-based driver education programs, such participation should be coupled with additional parent-lead education, community-based driver education programs when possible, as well as strictly enforced GDL.
- 5.Finally, innovative research that will elucidate the most important elements in reducing risk behaviors associated with increased crash rates is needed.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
- 1.Three distinct and time-sequenced stages need to be completed before licensure (learner's permit, provisional license with restrictions, and full licensure). In the initial stages of obtaining a learner's permit, the beginner may only drive with the supervision of a fully licensed driver. In the intermediate stage, the driver may drive unsupervised, but under certain conditions or restrictions. In the final stage, the driver receives a license and full driving privileges;
- 2.An increase in the number of hours of observed driving that must be documented before moving on to the next stage in licensure;
- 3.Limits to the number of passengers that can be accommodated in an adolescents' automobile at each successive stage of licensure;
- 4.A restriction on nighttime driving;
- 5.Zero tolerance for any substance use while driving;
- 6.Regulations meant to limit distractions for young drivers (e.g., prohibition of cell phone use and use of other electronic devices);
- 7.Mandatory seatbelt use; and
- 8.Mandatory fines and suspensions for violations with appropriate delays in achieving the next stages of licensure as a consequence of these violations.
Statement of the Problem
- National Research Council, Institute of Medicine, and Transportation Research Board
- Trends in driver education and training.Am J Prev Med. 2008; 35: S316-S323
- School-based driver education for the prevention of traffic crashes.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001; (CD003201. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003201)
- Fatality Facts: Teenagers 2007.The Institute, Arlington, VA2008 (Available at:)Cited April 4, 2009)
- Teenage drivers: Patterns of risk.J Safety Res. 2003; 34: 5-15
- Changes in collision rates among novice drivers during the first months of driving.Accid Anal Prev. 2003; 35: 683-691
- Carrying passengers as a risk factor for crashes fatal to 16 and 17 year old drivers.JAMA. 2000; 283: 1578-1582
- The observed effects of teenage passengers on the risky driving of teenage drivers.Accid Anal Prev. 2005; 37: 973-982
- Night driving restrictions for youthful drivers: A literature review and commentary.J Public Health Policy. 1997; 18: 334-345
- Involvement by young drivers in fatal alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes: United States, 1982-2001.MMWR. 2002; 51: 1089-1091
- Factors related to seat belt use among fatally injured teenage drivers.J Safety Res. 2004; 35: 29-38
- GDL then and now.J Safety Res. 2007; 38: 159-163
- Graduated driver licensing: Review of evaluation results since 2002.J Safety Res. 2007; 38: 165-175
- Contribution of the components of graduated licensing to crash reductions.J Safety Res. 2007; 38: 177-184
- “It's time to get your license”: Do adolescent health providers counsel teenagers on driving behaviors.J Adolesc Health. 2004; 34 ([Abstract]): 131
- Preventive counseling at adolescent ambulatory visits.J Adolesc Health. 2005; 37: 87-93
- Preventing Teen Motor Crashes: Contributions from the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Workshop Report.in: Program Committee for a Workshop on Contributions from the Behavioral and Social Sciences in Reducing and Preventing Teen Motor Crashes. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC2007
- Committee on injury, violence, and poison prevention, 2005-2006.Pediatrics. 2006; 118: 2570-2581
Policy statement approved by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Board of Directors, November 1, 2009