National evaluation of the effect of graduated driver licensing laws on teenager fatality and injury crashes

Joshua D. Lyon, Rong Pan, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Problem: Automobile crashes remain a prominent cause of death and injury for teenagers in the United States. While it is generally agreed that graduated drivers licensing (GDL) influences crash rates, it is unclear which components have the strongest effect on any specific types of crashes. Method: We analyze the relative effect of different stages of GDL on teenage fatal and injury crash risk via a negative binomial generalized linear model with random state effects. Overall, nighttime, and crashes with multiple teenage passengers are considered. Results: The strongest effects are seen by 16-year-olds, for which a strict permit stage is associated with a 58% reduction in fatal crash risk over a lenient permit stage. Similar reductions are seen for injury crashes. The intermediate stage, involving nighttime and passenger restrictions, is associated with a 44% reduction in fatalities but has relatively little effect on injury crashes. The strongest effects are generally seen for passenger crashes, followed by nighttime, and then overall crashes. Impact on Industry: This study identifies stronger relationships between GDL and crash risk than has previously been discovered and captures the relative effects of permit and intermediate licensing restrictions, two high-level components of GDL which differ in intent and implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Crash
  • Graduate Drivers Licensing
  • Random effects
  • Regression Analysis
  • Teenager

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


Dive into the research topics of 'National evaluation of the effect of graduated driver licensing laws on teenager fatality and injury crashes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this