Four years after Wisconsin adopted a graduated driver’s license law, accidents among teenage drivers are at their lowest point in a decade, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The state’s newest drivers must operate with restrictions on the number of passengers in the car and the hours they’re allowed behind the wheel. The restrictions are in place for the first nine months that a teen has a license.
In Wisconsin, 28,592 drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available. That’s the lowest total since at least 1994. Fewer teens were involved in accidents in 2004 even though more of them were on the road thana decade earlier. In 1994, 15.7 percent of all teenage drivers were involved in a crash; in 2004, it was 12.7 percent. Before the graduated license went into effect, an average of nearly 32,000 teenage drivers were involved in accidents each year. Serious accidents, with injuries or fatalities, dropped 12 percent, and the same declines were even more pronounced among 16-year-olds.