Study Says Iowa’s Lenient Driving Laws for Teens Contribute to More Deaths

A recent Iowa study suggests that over 30 people would still be alive if driving laws were tougher for teens. According to study provided by the Allstate Foundation, nearly 70 people died in Iowa crashes involving young drivers in 2009. The study suggests that over half of those fatalities wouldn't have occurred if Iowa's laws were stricter on young drivers.

Iowa's Graduated Driver's License Program

The financial benefits of a graduated driver's program are estimated at around 200 million dollars. States have different criteria for young or new drivers receiving their drivers' license. Some, however, have more lenient laws than others.

Iowa, for instance, is one of a very few states that allows teens under the age of 15 to receive driving permits; drivers in the state may get a permit as young as 14. Unfortunately, the chances of an accident increase as the driver's age and experience decreases. Not surprisingly, a U.S. News World Report ranked Iowa near the bottom of the list for teenage driving.

Stricter Policies to Increase Teen Safety

Overall, the study suggests that Iowa's driving restrictions for teens should be stricter-particularly in the wake of the distracted driving epidemic.

The study suggests that raising the permit age in Iowa from 14 to 16 and raising the age to obtain a full driver's license from age 17 to age 18 would greatly reduce fatalities and accidents in connection with teenage drivers.

The study, however, says that families and parents need to also do their part to help and that parental permission should go in tandem with stricter Iowa state driving restrictions.

Heightened awareness and increased regulation just may be the key to decreasing the number of Iowa teen motor vehicle accidents and fatalities.