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Graduated driver licensing policy in the Great Lakes states: current benefits and future potential. WMJ 2009 Nov;108(8):393-7 PMID: 20041576

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) policies effectively decrease teenage crash deaths. Emerging research is identifying the most effective components of GDL. This study examines GDL policies across 6 Great Lakes states, describing the beneficial impact, and investigating how evidence-based policy modifications could further reduce teenage driving deaths and injuries.

METHODS: GDL policies were reviewed in 6 Great Lakes states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). Incidence rate ratios for fatal and injury crashes for 16-year-old drivers were obtained from the Nationwide Review of GDL Study. Ratios were applied to the fatal and injury crashes reported from each state between 2002 and 2006 for 16-year-old drivers. The potential impact (crashes avoided) for each state was determined based on the state using a 3-phase GDL policy (a learner and intermediate stage prior to full licensure). In addition, the impact on crash reductions for each state if they had employed 5 of the recommended GDL components was determined.

RESULTS: All 6 states had a 3-phase GDL policy, resulting in potential avoidance of 124 fatal and more than 21,000 injury crashes. The 6 states had 1 to 3 of the qualifying GDL components. If these states had adopted 5 of the qualifying components, an additional 309 fatal and more than 27,000 injury crashes could have been avoided.

CONCLUSION: Three-phase GDL policy is effective at saving the lives of teenage drivers and vehicle occupants; evidence-based modification of GDL has the potential to further reduce teenage motor vehicle crash deaths and injuries.

Author List

Corden TE, Tonellato DJ, Frisch KB, Laud PW


Timothy E. Corden MD Chief, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Purushottam W. Laud PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-77449156680   1 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Accidents, Traffic
Automobile Driving
Public Policy
jenkins-FCD Prod-331 a335b1a6d1e9c32173c9534e6f6ff51494143916