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Majority of Americans view teenagers as risky drivers

Posted On Thu, August 11, 2011

A recent study conducted by Allstate Insurance found that the majority of Americans view teenagers as risky drivers and fully support federal efforts to standardize state programs that will delay full licensure of teen motorists.

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs are in effect in most states around the country. These programs require teens to gain experience behind the wheel before receiving full-fledged licenses, such as interim periods where they aren't allowed to have unrelated passengers aboard. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that GDL programs are significantly different between states.

"What's needed now is national leadership in the form of uniform standards for those GDL laws," says Allstate's senior vice president, Bill Vainisi.

Several landmark federal legislations introduced this year could help standardize GDL programs across the United States. The Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act, for instance, will require states to meet specific minimum GDL standards before they're eligible to receive full federal funding for highways.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. Per mile driven, teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely to crash than any other age group. GDL programs could help reduce overall auto insurance quotes for teen drivers.

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