Indiana is among the majority when it comes using a probationary or graduated driver’s licensing system for teen drivers. These systems require teen drivers to move through the licensing process in stages, by limiting their ability to drive during certain times of day and requiring they hold each stage-license for a certain period of time without incident before ‘graduating’ to the next stage of the licensing program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American medical Association and the National Institutes of Health, vehicle collisions remain the leading cause of death for teenagers today. Despite increases in vehicle safety devices and an emphasis on driver safety across the board this statistic has not changed for decades. When we were kids vehicle collisions were a leading cause of death, and now that we have children, it remains a leading cause of death.

Seat belts were a huge improvement in vehicle safety for everyone, but when it comes to targeting just teen deaths caused by vehicle collisions what was required was a way to reach them when they are most vulnerable: when they are inexperienced.

The first graduated licensing programs were wildly successful at reducing the number of teen deaths caused by vehicle collisions. This led to more and more states adopting similar programs. Most allow teens as young as 15 to obtain a ‘learner’s driving permit’ which they can use to drive with a licensed driving adult in the vehicle during daylight hours. After a period of time (three months in Indiana) they ‘graduate’ up to the next level and are allowed a little more liberty behind the wheel. Eventually, after one to two years of this program, the teen graduates to a full license with all the privileges afforded as such.

If you live in Indiana and have a soon-to-be-teen-driver visit their website to learn exactly what they should expect from the graduated licensing program there.