Red decals successful at reducing teen car accidents

New Jersey parents likely worry about their teenagers driving safely. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of death among American teenagers.

Fortunately, a recent study by researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia reveals that the red decals that identify teen drivers in New Jersey make a positive impact on reducing car accidents involving young people. This means the program has helped make New Jersey's roads safer for young people as well as other drivers.

Results of the study and Kyleigh's law

The study's authors compared the numbers of teen car crashes and citations from two years before the decal law was passed in 2010 to those occurring after the law's passage. An estimation of the potential number of crashes that would have occurred without enforcement of the law was also done.

The study found that requiring teenage drivers to display the red decals prevented more than 1600 car crashes. This is equivalent to the number of students who attend a large high school.

The decals also help officers enforce laws that apply to new drivers. Within the first year of the law's passage, police officers issued 14 percent more citations to new drivers. Additionally, the crashes involving peer passengers declined by nine percent.

The decal law is also referred to as Kyleigh's law, named after a teen driver killed in a car accident in 2006. It requires drivers under age 21 to display a red decal on their vehicles. The purpose is to make it easier to identify young drivers.

New Jersey is currently the only state to require these decals, although legislation is pending in six other states. The study's authors hope the study's results encourage other states to adopt similar measures.

New Jersey's graduated driving laws

New Jersey has graduated driving laws. These laws allow new drivers to gradually develop new driving skills before gaining full driving privileges and therefore help reduce the chance of accident

Graduated driving laws involve three stages:

  • Learner stage
  • Intermediate stage
  • Full stage

The learner stage includes supervised driving and concludes with a driving test. During the intermediate stage, drivers are only supervised in high risk situations, such as driving at night or with an increased passenger load.

A standard driver's license is issued during the full stage. The full privilege minimum age in New Jersey is 18.

A car accident caused by another's negligence is often a devastating experience, frequently resulting in large medical and repair bills. The injuries may also result in loss of wages from time off of work.

An individual injured in a car accident can benefit from an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorney can help protect an accident victim's rights and help obtain any available legal compensation.