Study Calls for New Laws to Address Teens Delaying Drivers License

by Carmen Dellutri on August 20, 2013

Fort Myers personal injury lawyerWhile once a right of passage, many teens are waiting to get their driver’s license, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It found that only 44 percent of teens obtain a driver’s license within 12 months of being eligible and only 54 percent are licensed before their 18th birthday.

The concern is that laws intended to address new drivers, namely graduated drivers licensing (GDL), will not apply to these older first-time licensees.

“With one in three teens waiting to get their license until they turn 18, there’s a segment of this generation missing opportunities to learn under the safeguards that GDL provides,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “

In Florida, driving privileges are based on the driver’s age. For 16 year olds, driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. All other times, drivers must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old, or be traveling to or from work. At 17 years old, unrestricted driving is allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. All restrictions end at the age of 18.

Given that prior studies have found that states with comprehensive GDL systems experienced a 38 percent decrease in fatal crashes involving 16 year-olds and a 40 percent reduction in injury crashes, AAA Foundation recommends that states consider extending these programs to older new drivers.

“Researchers and policymakers should examine whether existing state GDL systems – nearly all of which end once a teen turns 18 – can be modified to improve safety for these young adult novice drivers,” said AAA’s Director of State Relations and teen driver issue expert, Justin McNaull.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Naples accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Naples injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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