Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2009, nearly 4,000 teens (ages 13-19) died in the United States from crash-related injuries. Driving inexperience, lack of good judgment, and risk-taking behaviors are often key factors that contribute to their crash risk. Drivers between ages 16 to 19 years old are four times as likely to be involved in a crash as other drivers1. To amplify the problem, teens are less likely to wear their seat belts than any other age group. It has been estimated that if the current status quo remains unchanged among this group, tens of thousands of teens will die in the next 10 years2.

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws are designed to gradually provide new drivers with critical behind-the-wheel experience, by phasing in full privileges over time and in lower-risk settings. Research shows strong GDL laws to be effective in reducing crashes involving teen drivers by up to 40 percent3.

State Farm recommends the following minimum GDL provisions:

Learner Phase

  • Entry age of 16 years
  • 6-month holding period
  • 50 hours supervised driving, 10 of these at night
  • estriction on wireless communication devices

Intermediate Phase

  • Passenger restriction for unsupervised driving
  • No non-familial teen passengers for the first 6 months
  • No more than one non-familial teen passenger for the next 6 months
  • Nighttime restriction for unsupervised driving (between 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.)
  • Restriction on wireless communication devices

Full Licensure Phase

  • Restriction on wireless communication devices until age 18

Find out your State GDL law here.