The failure (sometimes with harmful effects) of many current public policies to reduce fatal motor vehicle crashes of teenaged drivers points up the need to consider a broader range of policy options. This article examines data on 236,205 drivers in fatal crashes, including 19,470 who were less than eighteen years old, for patterns which might suggest or rule out particular options. Adults are seldom in the vehicle when drivers under eighteen crash, but requiring the presence of an adult might increase adult deaths rather than reduce teenage crashes. Identification of risk groups through crash and violation records cannot be very effective because drivers under eighteen in fatal crashes usually have no prior record. Legal precedent regarding minors and the pattern of fatal crash involvement by licensure status and time of day suggest that raising the age of licensure to eighteen or prohibiting driving from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. by drivers under eighteen would reduce deaths substantially. Since only 52 percent of motorcyclists under eighteen had a valid motorcyclist license, increased enforcement of motorcyclist licensure laws has the potential to reduce motorcyclists' deaths even if present licensing ages are retained.
Research Article|April 01 1981
Leon S. Robertson; Patterns of Teenaged Driver Involvement in Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Implications for Policy Choice. J Health Polit Policy Law 1 April 1981; 6 (2): 303–314. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03616878-6-2-303
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