This week marks the tenth anniversary of National Teen Driver Safety Week. , And things look much different than they did ten years ago. Though it is tragic to lose even one young person in a car crash, in the United States the numbers have decreased nearly 43 percent in the past decade. In 2015, 4,308 teens were involved in fatal crashes compared to 7,500 in 2005*.
In Illinois, the number of teens involved in fatal car crashes has gone down by 45%, 239 in 2005 compared to 132 in 2015.
Studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) attribute reductions in crash deaths to strong Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs. Nearly all states have substantially strengthened their GDL laws over the past twenty years. Strong GDL laws consist of: minimum age of 16 for a learner’s permit, a six-month holding period, supervised driving requirement, nighttime driving restriction, passenger restriction, cell phone restriction, and a minimum age of 18 for an unrestricted license.