Is New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License Law Saving Lives?

Posted on January 24, 2017 at 12:00pm by

Rear-end accidentRecently, NJTV News featured an in-depth report regarding New Jersey’s graduated driver license law and whether it is helping to prevent car accidents and save lives.

What Is the Graduated Driver License Law?

New Jersey’s graduated driver license (GDL) program puts certain restrictions on drivers under 21. Under the GDL law, drivers who are under 21 and attempting to get a driver license for the first time must follow a three-step process:

  1. Learner’s Permit – During this phase, the driver spends at least six months practicing driving with qualified supervision.
  2. Probationary License – Once the driver has completed the learner’s permit phase, the next phase involves obtaining a driver’s license that has restrictions, which is known as a probationary license. An example of a restriction during this phase is the driver not being allowed to drive at night.
  3. Full License – After completing the probationary license phase, drivers can obtain a driver license without restrictions.

How Is the Graduated Driver License Law Saving Lives in New Jersey?

GDL programs in every state other than New Jersey only require drivers under 18 to complete the program. However, in many cases, drivers reach 18 before completing the program. Requiring drivers under 21 to go through the GDL program gives the drivers more time to fully complete the program. An official from the Governors Highway Safety Association interviewed for the NJTV News story said that having drivers continued to take part in the GDL program into their 20s is crucial. The reason it is important is because the brain does not fully develop until the early 20s and a fully developed brain is critical for recognizing and reacting to safety risks while driving.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association official, the number of deadly car accidents involving teen drivers in New Jersey has been cut in half since the graduated driver license law was first instituted.

Our personal injury law firm has been successfully helping the victims of car accidents and other personal injuries in Atlantic City and throughout New Jersey for years.

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