Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council announced today it will hold a second international research symposium on Graduated Drivers’ Licensing to document measurable benefits of the driving laws in the reduction of crashes involving teen drivers.
The International Symposium on Novice Teen Driving: GDL and Beyond, Feb. 5-7 in Tucson, Ariz., will feature scientists from around the world presenting research findings on teen driving performance, teen behaviors, effects of GDL laws on crash reduction, the effects of parenting behaviors on teen driving safety, driver’s education and how GDL can be improved.
Sponsors for the symposium include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the GEICO Foundation, Nationwide Insurance and General Motors. The symposium is the council’s second forum since 2002 that focuses on the effectiveness of GDL laws.
According to NHTSA 2004 data, there were 7,898 fatal crashes that involved drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 that year. And while young drivers represent just 6.3 percent of licensed drivers, they account for 13.6 percent of all fatal crashes.
The aim of the symposium, said NSC Transportation Safety Group Director John Ulczycki, is to measure GDL’s effectiveness and other strategies that address teen driving issues. As was the case following the 2002 GDL symposium, NSC and its partners will distribute the findings to state governors, legislators, highway safety leaders and the general public.
“This symposium will enable us to update the science and identify what is working and why,” Ulczycki said. “We plan to provide updated data and science to state legislators across the nation and to consider, depending on the data, other strategies that may be appropriate.”
The new findings will also be used to update the council’s “Family Guide to Teen Driver Safety,” first published in 2004 and distributed to more than 40,000 families. The Family Guide provides parents a comprehensive approach to apply GDL strategies to teen drivers.
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.