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Directions in Highway Safety Cover - Summer 2012 Download Newsletter pdf
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Summer 2012

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New Tool Calculates Potential Teen Lives Saved by Stronger GDL Laws

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) recently reported that more than 500 lives could be saved and 9,500 collisions prevented if every state’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law contained five key best practice components. As part of the analysis, IIHS and HLDI developed an online calculator that provides a state-by-state look at the potential number of lives saved and collisions prevented.

The five best practice components of a strong GDL law are:


Each component is currently in effect in at least one state, but no state has all five components yet. As Institute senior vice president for research Anne McCartt notes: “Even the best states can do better.”

The calculator system is designed to outline opportunities for improvement in state GDL laws and replaces the Institute’s prior model, which ranked states from good to poor. While the ratings helped encourage states to adopt the three-phased GDL system, it did not demonstrate the individual safety gains states could achieve by implementing specific components of GDL, such as nighttime driving or passenger restrictions. In addition to the “best-practice” scenario, the online calculator lets states see both the fatal crash and collision claim reductions it may achieve with any combination of specific law changes.

Access the calculator at Read more about the study at