Effects of graduated driver licensing on licensure and traffic injury rates in Upstate New York

Motao Zhu, Haitao Chu, Guohua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: In 2003, New York State implemented an enhanced graduated driving licensing (GDL) program that requires extended supervised driving and a passenger restriction. This study examines its safety benefit in 55 Upstate New York counties. Methods: We analyzed fatal/incapacitating traffic injury data among 16-, 17- and 21-24-year olds for the years 2001 and 2005 using the negative binomial model. To adjust for trends in the traffic injury rate, the relative rate ratio (rRR) of 16- and 17-year olds relative to 21-24-year olds was estimated. Results: GDL implementation was associated with a 31% reduction in the driver injury rate (rRR 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.96), but not with any statistically significant change in the passenger injury rate (rRR 1.19, 95% CI 0.77-1.84), or pedestrian and bicyclist injury rate (rRR 1.53, 95% CI 0.89-2.62) among 16-year olds. Sixteen-year olds experienced a 21% decline in licensure rates between 2001 and 2005. GDL implementation had no appreciable impact on driver injury and licensure rates for 17- and 21-24-year olds. Conclusions: GDL implementation is associated with a significant reduction in licensure and driver injury rate among 16-year olds. GDL implementation does not have a statistically significant impact on passenger, pedestrian, and bicyclist injury rates for 16-year olds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-535
Number of pages5
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We express appreciation to Mike Furbee, Susan Hardman and Sarah Sperry for comments on a draft of the manuscript.


  • Evaluation
  • Graduated driver licensing law
  • Traffic injury
  • Young drivers


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