Earlier this month, the Colorado Department of Transportation launched a campaign aimed at educating teenage drivers who recently received their drivers license, on the specific laws that apply solely to them as new drivers.

The laws, known as Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing laws, aim to allow new drivers some time to get some experience behind the wheel, before they have the full driving privileges enjoyed by other, more seasoned drivers. They include things such as restrictions on what time of day a new driver can operate a vehicle, how many people can be in their vehicle, and requirements for  a number of  supervised driving hours before they can drive alone, among others. 

Research suggests that GDL laws have helped reduce the rate of accidents for teenage drivers by almost 50%, but in order for the laws to work, continued and regular education aimed at young drivers is important. 

The “Keep Your License Safe” campaign will focus on using “peer-to-peer” marketing strategies, and feature videos of a teenage driver playing multiple roles, taking a humorous approach towards educating these young drivers on the laws that apply specifically to them. 

According to CDOT Director of the Office Of Transportation Safety, Darrell Lingk, “From talking with teens, we know how important peer-to-peer conversations can be. It’s how many teens get their news and information. This campaign puts a fun spin on peer delivery, giving them an opportunity to learn about safe driving from each other.”

The three laws that will be the focus of the campaign are the ones related to buckling up, not having more than the allowed number of passengers in the vehicle, and the ban on texting. 

CDOT also makes the point that the involvement of the young driver’s parents are key to making sure these laws have their desired positive results. In fact research suggests that teenagers who have parents that take an active interest in their driving habits in supportive ways, may help reduce their teenaged drivers chances of getting into an accident by as much as half. 

Teenage Drivers are More at Risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traffic crashes are among the leading causes of death for teenagers in the United States, with the highest risk group being ages 16 to 19. Drivers in that age range can be nearly three times more likely to get into a fatal motor vehicle accident than drivers age 20 and older.

In 2017 alone, an average of six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were involved in fatal accidents everyday, and hundreds more were seriously injured.

The reason these drivers are more at risk is largely because of their inexperience behind the wheel. When that inexperience is combined with the risky behaviors that are often exhibited by teens, it can be a very deadly combination. 

Related Reading: Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Up 12% in 2020

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