Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

More States Giving Teen Drivers the Yellow Light

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Oct. 2, 2001 -- Driving remains a rite of passage for most American teens, but is it a right? Should turning 16 and passing a driver's test be all that is required for full driving privileges? More and more states are saying "no" and are implementing programs designed to phase in young drivers. Now two new studies suggest the approach is having dramatic benefits in lowering rates of accidents and deaths.

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted a three-stage system known as graduated driver licensing (GDL) for teen drivers. Though individual components of the system vary from state to state, each state requires a supervised learner's period and an intermediate driving period with certain restrictions before a license with full driving privileges is granted.

Reviews of accidents from Michigan and North Carolina, two states that recently implemented the three-tiered approach, show a significant reduction in crashes among 16-year-olds in the two years since graduated licensing was adopted. The overall crash risk for this age group in Michigan declined by 25% during the study period. A similar reduction was seen in North Carolina, and fatal crashes among 16-year-olds in that state dropped by 57%. The findings were reported in the Oct. 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The magnitude of the reduction we saw was really astounding," Robert D. Foss, PhD, of the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, tells WebMD. "The impact of this one intervention is much greater than any other traffic safety measure we have seen."

Anne T. McCartt, PhD, says the graduated license approach has been adopted by so many states because there is an obvious need to address the issue of teen driving safety. Car accidents are the most common cause of death among teenagers in the U.S., accounting for nearly four out of every 10 teen fatalities. And 16-year-old drivers have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age, including older teens. A 16-year-old driver is almost three times as likely to be involved in a car accident as an 18-year-old, according to figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd