Teen Driver Decals for Teenaged Probationary Drivers?

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While crash rates among teenaged drivers have declined as a result of graduated licensing systems, motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of both death and disability among teenagers. Teenaged probationary drivers in countries such as Australia have been required to drive with teen driving decals on their vehicles for a while now, and in 2010 New Jersey became the first – and so far only – state to require probationary teen drivers to display a teen driver decal. The question is, how effective are such decals?

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that teen driving decals might be very effective indeed. The study examined records from New Jersey’s licensing and crash databases from January 2006 to June 2012; New Jersey’s teen driver decal law became effective in May 2010.

The findings were quite significant. While accident rates among teenaged drivers with probationary licenses fell 1.8 percent in the four years of the pre-decal law period studied, there was a dramatic 7.9 decrease in the crash rate in the two years following implementation of the decal law. For those probationary drivers aged 18 and 19, the results were even more significant, with crash rates seeing a 13 percent reduction per year after the decals were required.

In total, the study’s researchers estimate that 3,197 motor vehicle crashes were prevented as a result of New Jersey’s probationary licensing decal law. As Allison Curry, the lead researcher on the study, noted, the results were surprising. This was so even though “compliance with the decal provision was less than ideal.” These findings suggest that other states with graduated licensing systems should give serious consideration to laws requiring the decals.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Los Angeles automobile accident, Bradley I. Kramer and his experienced legal team are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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