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Global Road Safety

During 2004, in the United States, 4,767 teens ages 16 to 19 died of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Globally, people ages 0-25 years account for more than 40% of the nearly 1.2 million road traffic deaths that occur each year. To highlight this issue, the First United Nations Global Road Safety Week was held April 23-29, 2007, with a focus on young road users. Events were hosted around the world with the slogan, "Road Safety is No Accident," to highlight the roles of individuals, organizations, governments and societies in road traffic safety.

In the United States, Global Road Safety Week efforts were dedicated to teen drivers. During 2004, in the United States, 4,767 teens ages 16 to 19 died of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes. CDC's Injury Center spotlights how teens can benefit from Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems, which address the high risks new drivers face by allowing them to get their initial driving experience under low-risk conditions.

Research suggests that the most strict and comprehensive GDL programs are associated with 38% and 40% reductions in fatal and injury crashes, respectively, among 16-year-old drivers (Baker et al. 2007). Parents also play an important role in keeping teen drivers safe and GDL can support their efforts.

Of course you're worried about your teen driver. But, as a parent, you can make a difference.

As a parent or guardian, you're in a unique position to influence your teen's road safety behavior. Most of you are involved in teaching driving skills, supervising driving, and governing your teens' access to vehicles. Fortunately, research has shown that close parental management of teen drivers can lead to less risky driving behavior, fewer traffic tickets, and fewer crashes.

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems can guide and support you in these activities. Learn more about the GDL law in your state and read the National Safety Council's Teen Driver: A Family Guide to Teen Driver Safety for helpful tips and suggestions.

What is Graduated Driver Licensing?

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems are designed to help new drivers gain knowledge and experience under low-risk conditions. As drivers progress through learning stages, they are granted additional driving privileges. While GDL laws differ by state, teen drivers in most states are required to go through three stages: (1) learners permit that requires supervision by a licensed adult; (2) provisional license that temporarily restricts unsupervised driving (for example, when driving at night or with a certain number of passengers); and (3) full licensure.

Evaluations of GDL programs in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand have consistently found that they reduce the crash risk among teens and other new drivers. GDL appears to work both by reducing the amount of driving by an inexperienced driver and by improving driving skills under low risk conditions.

Copyright © Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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