Study: Toughen Teen Driving Laws To Save Lives - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Study: Toughen Teen Driving Laws To Save Lives

MSNBC.COM - Insurance and safety advocates said Tuesday that nationwide restrictions on teenage driver's licenses could save 2,000 lives and billions of dollars each year.

In a report released Tuesday, the National Safety Council, a congressionally chartered independent research agency, asked what would happen if a variety of laws known generally as "graduated driver licensing," or GDL, were fully adopted in all 50 states.

Besides saving about 2,000 lives, universal adoption would also save more than $13 billion a year, said the report, which was funded by the Allstate Foundation, charitable and research group supported by insurance giant Allstate Corp.

GDL laws include more than just legislating that teenagers can't get driver's licenses until they're 18. They also encompass bans on texting and other cellphone use while driving, restrictions on nighttime driving by 16- and 17-year-olds and limits on the number of passengers in a car driven by a teen. They're currently a patchwork, with some states' having adopted most restrictions and others' having adopted as few as one, said John Ulczycki, the safety council's group vice president for research.

Projections on death were derived from baseline data published in a 2007 report (.pdf) examining GDL laws by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and "what we know from (that) study is that when a state passes a GDL with one component, it gets a 4 percent reduction in deaths," Ulczycki told msnbc.com. Click here to read more

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