The #1 killer of teens.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death for North Dakota teens. Young driver inexperience, coupled with immaturity, often results in risk-taking behaviors such as speeding, alcohol use, and not wearing a seat belt – all of which contribute to an increased death rate. In North Dakota, teen drivers age 14-19 account for 5% of all licensed drivers, but are behind the wheel in nearly 20% of all crashes.
Teen drivers were involved in 12% of fatal crashes in North Dakota in 2019. And, over the past 5 years in North Dakota, 41 teens have died in vehicle crashes.
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)
- GDL is a three-stage approach to granting young drivers full license privileges. All states have some form of GDL laws in place, which has shown an overall crash reduction of 10-30% nationwide. The three stages of GDL are:
- Permit phase - Driving under supervision of an experienced driver
- Intermediate license - No longer needs supervision to drive, but subject to short-term restrictions, such as night driving or number of passengers
- Unrestricted/full license
- North Dakota
- GDL only applies to teens who obtain a permit at age 14
- After permit, teens are issued an intermediate license until age 16
- No driving between 9 p.m., or sunset (whichever is later) and 5 a.m.
- North Dakota is one of only 5 states that does not have a limit on passengers during the intermediate phase of license
Current North Dakota Policy:
- Learner's Permit
- At least 14 years old.
- The holding period is 6 to 12 months. For example, a driver that starts the process at age 15 years old and 6 months only holds the permit for 6 months. In contrast, a driver that starts the process at 14 years old will hold the permit for 12 months.
- Driver education is required if under age 16.
- Minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice.
- Must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least age 18.
- Intermediate License
- The holding period is up to 12 months (until teen reaches 16 years old). For example, a driver who receives their intermediate license at 15 holds it until they reach 16 years old. In contrast, a driver who receives their intermediate license at 15 years and 11 months will only hold it for 1 month.
- Night driving restricted between 9 p.m. or sunset, whichever is later, and 5 a.m. for 6 months (with exceptions).
- No policy on number of teen passengers.
- No cell phone use.
- No requirement to remain crash or conviction free.
- Standard License