A new report claims stricter requirements to obtain a driver’s license in Iowa would have saved the lives of 32 teenagers in 2009. The Allstate Foundation study shows nearly 70 Iowa teens died in car crashes that year.
Spokeswoman Mele Telitz says two years of supervised driving would help better prepare teens for Iowa’s diverse road conditions. “In Iowa, you don’t just need experience on the dry roads, you need experience on the icy roads, in snow conditions, fog and rain,” Telitz said.
Iowa is one of only a handful of states to allow teens to get a permit at 14. But, drivers are not eligible for a full license until age 17.
“Teen drivers are the most likely drivers on the road to have car accidents,” Telitz noted. “Sixteen year old drivers have crash rates two times greater than an 18 or 19 year old and four times that of an older driver. So, that experience really does improve a driver’s awareness.”
Telitz suggests increasing the permit age in Iowa from 14 to 16 and the full license eligibility age from 17 to 18.