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Report: Requirements Fall Short to Reduce Teen Driver Crashes

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Jan. 21, 2015—The National Safety Council (NSC) and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) released a report Tuesday on Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).

Titled, “A New GDL Framework: Evidence Base to Integrate Novice Driver Strategies,” the report strategizes reducing teen driver car crashes from evidence-based initiatives. The report also includes strategies based on expert opinion and identifies areas where more research is needed.

"Crashes remain the number one cause of death for teens. The good news is that over the last two decades, all states have implemented parts of GDL; the bad news is that all best practices have not been implemented consistently," Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC, said in a release. "We simply cannot continue with a patchwork system that addresses only some of the risks, but we must identify and adopt ALL of the most effective prevention methods if we are truly committed to eliminating deaths and injuries in teen crashes."

The report is a step toward gaining broad consensus to keep teen drivers safe. An International Symposium is being planned for 2015 and will bring together traffic safety professionals, lawmakers and researchers to discuss how to implement an expanded GDL framework.

"GDL involves a tiered system of licensing in which novice drivers are gradually exposed to driving situations over an extended period of time spent in low-risk environments," Dan Mayhew, lead author and TIRF senior vice president, said in a release. "At its core, this new GDL framework is unique in that it proposes that the best of our knowledge gained through driver education, licensing and testing requirements, as well as in-vehicle monitoring technology be integrated into an enhanced GDL program and used in eight key stage components and reinforcing components across the learner and intermediate stages."

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