Effect of Florida's graduated licensing program on the crash rate of teenage drivers

Accid Anal Prev. 2000 Jul;32(4):527-32. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(99)00074-3.


On 1 July 1996, Florida instituted a graduated licensing program for drivers younger than age 18. For the first 3 months, holders of learner's licenses are not allowed to drive at all between 19:00 and 06:00 h; thereafter, they may drive until 22:00 h. Learner's licenses must be held for 6 months prior to eligibility for the intermediate license. Sixteen-year-old intermediate license holders are not permitted to drive unsupervised from 23:00 to 06:00 h, 17 year-olds from 01:00 to 06:00 h. All drivers younger than 18 have strict limits on the number of traffic violations they can accumulate and, effective 1 January 1997, all drivers younger than 21 are subject to a zero tolerance law for drinking and driving. Florida crash data for 1995-1997 were obtained and compared with similar data from Alabama, a state that borders Florida but does not have graduated licensing. For 15, 16, and 17 year-olds combined, there was a 9% reduction in the fatal and injury crash involvement rate in Florida during 1997, the first full year of graduated licensing, compared with 1995. On a percentage basis, crashes declined most among 15 year-olds, followed by 16 year-olds and then 17 year-olds. Reductions were not seen among Alabama teenagers nor among 18 year-olds in Florida.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Automobile Driver Examination / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Automobile Driving / education*
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Licensure / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Male
  • Safety / legislation & jurisprudence