Less Teen Drivers Dying on Nation's Roadways

For millions of parents across the country, this could be the year their nerves are strained as never before.

Danielle Peterson is the mother of a 15-year-old teenager, one who'll be driving very soon, and millions of parents who have kids in the same age range understand her feelings.

Danielle says, "I've seen all the stats out there for inexperienced, uneducated drivers. It really scares me."

Studies show 16 to 17-year-old drivers have the highest crash rate per mile of any age group. Plus, the crash rate triples for those same drivers at night.

There's some good news for parents and their nerves. A new study shows there's been a 5.6 percent drop in fatalities for new drivers.

Bart Cassidy says, "The graduated licensing system that a lot of states have started to use is an excellent idea. Instead of turning a teenager loose in a car, they have a system they have to go through."

Which means new drivers first get a permit, then a provisional license, and finally, a license, but in Florida it gets better.

Bart Cassidy says, "Florida is a leader in having kids take a four-hour mandatory drug and alcohol test before they can get their driver’s license; this shows a significant drop in alcohol related crashes."

Experts hope the graduated driver’s license policy is picked up by every state, and the numbers continue to drop. Forty-six states have adopted GDL policies.

Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and North Dakota are the only states without three-tiered licensing systems.