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Graduated driver licensing programs need a second look

In relation to the length of time in which teenagers have been getting behind the wheel for the first time, graduated drivers license programs are relatively new. These programs were created to address the growing rate of teen drivers who were involved in serious traffic accidents. The programs were a good solution to a relevant problem; however, those numbers are increasing again.

The number of teen-driver fatalities rose in 2011, and that number took another exponential leap in the first six months of 2012. The average rate of all 50 states increased a whopping 19 percent total. That increase includes the tallies from the 17 states that experienced a decline and the eight that remained about the same. That means that 25 states had essentially even higher increases.

According to a highway safety expert with the Governors Highway Safety Association that compiled the data used in the statistics above, those GDL programs are contributing to the problem. It isn't that they were a mistake or should be discontinued. The safety consultant simply believes that they have given their all, and now we need to revisit the best-practices.

The GDL programs have been around long enough to give them a second look and determine what programs have had better success than others. Specifically, analysts can use the data to help determine what portions of these programs could be implemented in other states that need even more improvement.

While the GDL programs need some revisiting, the safety consultant said that the economy is also playing a role in the decreased safety. Simply put; the more money that teens have to use in relation to a car, the more they drive. More teen drivers means more accidents.

Source: WLTX-TV, "Deaths Surge Among Teen Drivers," Larry Copeland, Feb. 26, 2013

We can't wait forever for the best safety program, nor will we likely find one that eliminates all negligent behavior. For those instances, we have the civil process, and a personal injury lawsuit can help victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Our website provides information to those in northern New Jersey.

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