Teen driver safety in Iowa ranked near lowest in nation

Iowa has been ranked 49th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia by a recent U.S. News & World Report study of national teen driving safety.

According to the article, rankings were achieved by using eleven different variables. Five of these were based on car accident fatality, road-quality, and driver’s license statistics collected by the federal government. The other six included ratings of driving and road safety laws compiled by 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.

The graduated driver’s license law requires that new drivers be supervised and trained in a particular fashion, with rules imposed on when and with whom they may drive gradually lifted based on their performance.

Teens and young adult drivers in Iowa comprise only 17 percent of the population but are involved in over 40 percent of the state’s car accidents.

Gov. Chet Culver on April 28 signed into law a bill that would require anyone under the age of 17 and in the back seat of a car wear their seatbelt. In July, a law restricting teens from using their cell phones 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 Des Moines reckless driving accident attorneys of , at 877-327-2600.

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