IIHS: States show room for improvement on GDL laws

June 6, 2012

Arlington, VA – The United States could prevent 500 fatalities and more than 9,500 crashes if each state and the District of Columbia implemented the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s best practices for Graduated Driver Licensing laws, according to a report (.pdf file) from IIHS and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Researchers compared each state against the institute’s highest-recommended GDL values for permit and license age, supervised driving hours and type, and restrictions on nighttime driving and teen passengers. They found that the state closest to the best-practice GDL laws – Connecticut – could experience 17 percent fewer fatal crashes and 13 percent fewer collision claims among teen drivers if all components were adopted. Additionally, states with the lowest scores, including Iowa and South Dakota, could reduce crashes and collision claims by more than half.

IIHS created a webpage for policymakers to calculate the number of injuries and lives that could be saved by instituting the recommended GDL laws in their state.

The report was published in the May 31 issue of IIHS’s Status Report.