For most teens, getting a driver’s license is exciting and liberating. But for their parents, it can be an anxiety-filled time. That’s because motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and teens are four times more likely to be in a crash than older drivers.
All teens are at risk for an accident because the leading crash risk is inexperience. Most teen crashes occur in the first six months of having a license.
That’s why all 50 states have some form of graduated drivers licensing (GDL), which restricts when and how teens can drive. For example, GDLs limit the number of passengers a teen driver can have in the first year of licensure. Restrictions vary by state, but all are designed to keep teens out of high-risk driving situations, while giving them a chance to gain experience in lower-risk situations.