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Graduated Driver Licensing

The statistics are staggering: texting while driving has become a major cause of automobile collisions throughout this nation and young people tend to be the victims of these motor vehicle crashes. As a result of texting, there will be 1,600,000 motor vehicle crashes this year (National Safety Counsel) and 11 teens will die each day (Ins. Institute for Hwy. Safety Fatality Facts). A driver who is texting is six (6) times more likely to cause a crash than an intoxicated driver (National Hwy. Transportation Safety Admin.) and texting is the number one (1) driving distraction reported by teen drivers. A texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash and in any one moment there are 800,000 drivers on the United States highways that are texting. (National Hwy. Transportation Safety Admin.)The victims of car crashes tend to be young people. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 34 years, with teenage drivers crashing four(4) times more often than any other age group. Is there an answer? One option which has been considered by many states, is Graduated Driver Licensing legislation. Currently, a teen driver can obtain a permit at age 16 and a driver's license at age 16 1/2, At age 17, a Pennsylvania teen can secure full driving privileges. 

Now is the time for the legislature to act to extend Graduated Driver Licensing programs with emphasis on driver distraction. Pennsylvania can be one of the leaders in this programs by requiring drivers to undergo Driver's Education with emphasis on driver distraction and by extending driver probationary periods from six (6) months to one (1) year and full driving privileges from age 17 to age 18. More comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing law's are estimated to save 2,000 lives and 13.6 billion dollars annually.Obviously, the Pennsylvania legislature moves at a snail's pace. With the number of young people and others being killed and injured as a result of motor vehicle collisions, the time to act and save lives is now. At the very least, the legislature should begin the debate on how to improve Pennsylvania's existing Graduated Driver Licensing laws and address the issue of distracted drivers, particularly those drivers distracted by texting and social media interest. Sadly, the only thing more dangerous than a distracted driver might be a distracted Legislature.James T. Davis, Attorney at Law[email protected]Much of the information supplying the statistics for this article was obtained from:http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/ 

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law