Iowa has been ranked 49th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia by a U.S. News & World Report article on national teen driving safety.
The article used eleven variables to create its ranking. These included car accident fatality, driver’s license, and road-quality statistics collected by the federal government as well as ratings of road safety laws and driving from two independent organizations.
“A lot of the criteria has to do with graduated driving licensing,” said a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Transportation, Dena M. Gray-Fisher.
A graduated driver’s license law was passed in 1999 in Iowa, which was one of the first states to institute a GDL law. It requires supervision and training of young drivers, with restrictions on when and with whom young drivers may drive lifted as they become more skilled.
Teens and young drivers in Iowa are involved in over 40 percent of accidents while only comprising 17 percent of the population.
Gov. Chet Culver signed into law a bill on April 28 that makes it required for those under the age of 17 in the back seat to wear a seat belt, and on July 1, a ban on teenage cell phone use while driving will go into effect.
Some teen drivers are responsible and mature. Many others are not, either due to technological distractions (phones), bad decisions (drinking and driving), or a physiological inclination to incorrectly assess threats. If you or someone you know has been injured by a reckless teen driver, contact the Iowa reckless driving accident attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C., at (515) 705-0233.