California's graduated driver license law: Effect on teenage drivers' deaths through 2005

While many researchers believe graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws save lives by imposing restrictions and delayed licensure on drivers under age 18, longer term effects on older teenagers have not been studied. The effects of California's strict GDL law on deaths of drivers ages 16-19 were analyzed for 1995-2005 using incidence rate ratios (IRR) and autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) time series analysis of Fatality Analysis Reporting System mortality data. The two methods yielded similar results. IRR analysis found California 16-year-old drivers subject to the GDL experienced a 15% fatality decline (95% CI, 0.70-0.99), while 18 year-old drivers experienced a 15% increase (95% CI, 1.02-1.27). ARIMA analysis found 16 year-old drivers experienced a near-significant 20% fatality decline (p = 0.07), while 18 year-olds experienced a 24% increase (p = 0.01). Unlicensed teenage drivers and older teen drivers driving alone and transporting teenage passengers suffered significant fatality increases. These findings suggest that California's GDL may negatively affect older teenagers and other driver subpopulations and merits reevaluation.

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  • Accession Number: 01084512
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2008 3:52PM