Friday, October 26, 2012

Driver Decals Linked With Less Crashes

A study from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) links New Jersey's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) decal requirement with lower crash rates among intermediate teen drivers. In May 2010, New Jersey implemented Kyleigh's Law, requiring all 16- to 20-year-olds with a permit or intermediate license to place a reflective decal on the front and back license plates of vehicles they are operating. In the first year after the decal's implementation, crash involvement of an estimated 1,624 intermediate drivers was prevented, meanwhile the rate of GDL-related citations issued to intermediate drivers increased by 14%, and the rate of police-reported crashes among intermediate drivers decreased by 9%.

Researchers at CHOP suggest states with higher teen crash rates than New Jersey might see even greater results from GDL programs because they have more room for improvement. In addition, parents can enforce GDL and driving rules upon their own children whether or not laws are in place. Here are some basic rules from Allison Curry, director at CHOP’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention:
  • Start new drivers out in low-risk conditions;
  • allow no more than one passenger;
  • limit nighttime driving;
  • always prohibit cell phone use while driving;
  • insist on seat belts for every occupant on every drive.

For more information on teen driver safety, click here.