Back in 1998, the State of California instituted what's referred to as the "Graduated Licensing Law." For those of you not in one of the several states that have adopted this law, it sets a series of restrictions on new drivers, both while driving on their learner's permit and after they've been licensed.

The restrictions include a mandatory amount of driving time with their parents (50 hours is the norm), as well as being required to hold their permit for a set amount of time (usually six months) before they can obtain a license. Once licensed, they are not allowed to drive during certain hours of the night and are unable to carry passengers under a specified age.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just released figures that confirm that "Graduated Licensing" is having a positive effect. In California, the per-capita crash rate dropped by 23 percent overall, with nighttime crashes being reduced by 27 percent and crashes with other teens in the car falling a substantial 38 percent.

Changes to this law have taken place in California since its introduction, which may also had an effect on these stats. Other studies have shown a similar decline in crash rates, with few exceptions.

So beyond what's already been done, is there a 'next step' to reduce teen crash rates?

[Source: IIHS]

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