A report by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a movement over the past ten years by states to put into effect graduated driver license laws may have inadvertently led to more teen road fatalities.
The report found that while the number of deadly car accidents for the age group of 16 and 17 year-old drivers declined, the number of fatal car accidents for the 18 to 19 year age group went up by the same amount.
The report found that the legal restrictions placed placed on a new driver for night driving, cellphone usage, limits on the number of passengers in the car, implemented to protect them has led to a shift in the number of deadly car accidents to the older age bracket.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, automobile accidents are the number one of death among teens, resulting in 4,054 deaths in 2008. In !996, The State of Florida was the first state to adopt Graduated Drivers License rules. Currently 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of the plan.
In the years following Florida’s adoption of Graduated Drivers License rules, there have been 1,348 fewer deadly car accidents involving 16 year old drivers but 1,086 more deadly auto accidents involving 18 year olds.
The study was performed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles Research and Development branch, which revealed the deadly accident rate to be higher for the 18 year olds in those states with more restrictive laws on newer drivers.
A study performed one year ago, however, in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention did not find a negative effect of stronger Graduated Drivers License laws on older teen drivers.