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Accid Anal Prev. 2000 Jul;32(4):527-32.

Effect of Florida's graduated licensing program on the crash rate of teenage drivers.

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Preusser Research Group, Inc., Trumbull, CT 06611, USA.


On 1 July 1996, Florida instituted a graduated licensing program for drivers younger than age 18. For the first 3 months, holders of learner's licenses are not allowed to drive at all between 19:00 and 06:00 h; thereafter, they may drive until 22:00 h. Learner's licenses must be held for 6 months prior to eligibility for the intermediate license. Sixteen-year-old intermediate license holders are not permitted to drive unsupervised from 23:00 to 06:00 h, 17 year-olds from 01:00 to 06:00 h. All drivers younger than 18 have strict limits on the number of traffic violations they can accumulate and, effective 1 January 1997, all drivers younger than 21 are subject to a zero tolerance law for drinking and driving. Florida crash data for 1995-1997 were obtained and compared with similar data from Alabama, a state that borders Florida but does not have graduated licensing. For 15, 16, and 17 year-olds combined, there was a 9% reduction in the fatal and injury crash involvement rate in Florida during 1997, the first full year of graduated licensing, compared with 1995. On a percentage basis, crashes declined most among 15 year-olds, followed by 16 year-olds and then 17 year-olds. Reductions were not seen among Alabama teenagers nor among 18 year-olds in Florida.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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