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Ann Emerg Med. 2006 Apr;47(4):369.e1-7. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Impact of Georgia's Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act.

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  • 1Center for Injury Control, Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

In 1997, the Georgia General Assembly enacted the Teenage and Adult Drivers Responsibility Act (TADRA), a comprehensive legislative package that attempted to reduce fatal crashes of teenaged drivers by introducing graduated driver's licensing, "zero tolerance" of underage impaired drivers, and automatic license revocation for speeding greater than 25 miles per hour over the posted limit and other dangerous driving behaviors. To determine whether TADRA reduced teen driving fatalities, we examine fatal crash rates involving various age groups before versus after the law was enacted.

METHODS:

Data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System were used to calculate annualized fatal crash rates of various age groups of drivers during an 11-year interval 5 1/2 years before TADRA was enacted and 5 1/2 years afterwards. To identify potential historical effects, Georgia's experience was compared to that of Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee, states that did not adopt equally comprehensive legislation during the study period.

RESULTS:

During the preenactment period, 317 Georgia drivers aged 16 were involved in a fatal crash (57/100,000 person-years) compared to 230 in the postenactment period (36/100,000 person-years; risk ratio [RR] 0.63; 95% confidence interval 0.53 to 0.75). Speed-related fatal crashes were cut by 42%, and alcohol-related fatal crashes decreased nearly 60%, without displacing fatal crashes to older age groups. These reductions greatly exceeded those noted in 2 of 3 comparison states and the nation overall.

CONCLUSION:

TADRA markedly reduced fatal crash rates among 16-year-old Georgia drivers. Fatal crashes were not displaced to older age groups.

PMID:
16546622
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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