National Teen Driver Safety Week
October 15–21, 2023
Young Drivers encompasses all drivers aged 15 to 24. Inexperience, coupled with immaturity, often results in risk-taking behaviors such as speeding, alcohol use, and not wearing a seat belt — all of which contribute to increased fatal and injury crashes. During 2021 in Louisiana, there were 113 fatal crashes involving drivers aged 15 – 20 years old and 126 fatal crashes involving drivers aged 21 – 24 years old. There were 9,781 injury crashes involving drivers aged 15 – 20 years old and 9,066 injury crashes involving drivers aged 21 – 24 years old.
Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL)
To keep teen drivers safer on the roads, all states have enacted Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws that phase in driving privileges. Research has shown significant reductions in deaths were associated with GDL laws that included age requirements, a waiting period of at least three months before the intermediate stage, a restriction on nighttime driving, 30 or more hours of supervised driving, and a restriction on carrying passengers or the number and age of passengers carried. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 6 out of 10 teen crashes involve some form of driver distraction — including interaction with one or more passengers, using a cell phone, singing/dancing to music, and grooming.
Young Drivers Coordinator:
In addition to laws, parents also play a key role in helping young drivers become good drivers. Parents should not rely solely on driver education classes to teach good driving habits. Parents can also set a good example by practicing safe driving behaviors themselves and requiring the use of seat belts for every seating position, every time.