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International Symposium: Novice Teen Driving – Graduated Driver Licensing Systems (GDL) and Beyond

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group. One way to combat this problem is by implementing graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems, which are designed to help new drivers gain knowledge and experience under low–risk conditions.

To discuss the latest GDL research and other issues related to teen driver safety, the National Safety Council (NSC) held the International Symposium: Novice Teen Driving: GDL and Beyond, February 5–7, 2007 in Tucson, Arizona. Sponsors for this event included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The symposium brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to speak on topics such as the effects of GDL on crash reduction and improvements in GDL systems operations. Participants also identified states that have effectively implemented GDL systems and discussed ways to continue research on GDL systems in order to improve teen driver safety.

Research suggests that the most comprehensive GDL systems are associated with a 38% reduction in fatal crashes, and a 40% reduction in injury crashes among drivers 16 years of age.

To help traffic safety and public health professionals as they work to keep teen drivers safe, NSC has created six fact sheets* that summarize the current scientific information on GDL systems as presented at the Symposium. These fact sheets address the following topics:

  • Extended Learner’s Permit Holding Periods
  • Nighttime Driving Restrictions
  • Passenger Restrictions
  • Technology
  • Key GDL Influences and Partners
  • Next Steps

In addition, proceedings of the symposium were published in a special April 2007 issue of the Journal of Safety Research, entitled, "Novice Teen Driving: GDL and Beyond: Research Foundations for Policy and Practice Symposium."

Almost half of all black (45%) and Hispanic (46%) children who died in crashes were not buckled up (2009-2010).
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