Graduated Drivers License (GDL) Restrictions
The Graduated Drivers License (GDL) system is intended to slowly submerge the teenage drivers license applicant into the world of modern roads. The graduated drivers license system employs multiple restrictions that are lifted from the driver as he or she moves up through different levels of driving proficiency. Although GDL restrictions may look unfair to a teenage driver, they are proven to work and reduce the number of road accidents that involve teens.
Supervised Driving in GDL
Supervised driving is on the key steps in the graduated drivers license system. Once the teenager receives a driving permit, they are expected to practice driving with a parent or a legal guardian (in some states, any driver with more than 3 years of driving experience and over the age of 25 suffices). The supervised driving period is intended to allow the student driver to gain some expertise a more experienced driver possesses. It also ensures that parents take up the active position in the process and oversee their offspring’s driving progress.
Curfew. Nighttime Restriction.
Statistical analysis of crashes that involved teenage drivers show that the majority of the accidents happened between 9pm and midnight (for example, in North Carolina it was 80% from the total number of the accidents). In most cases, this happens because the teenage driver underestimates the complexity of nighttime driving and fails to recognize a potentially dangerous situation before it arises. Nighttime driving requires the driver to be much more alert and watchful due to the low visibility.
Based on these statistics, the graduated drivers license system restricts the time when the student driver can be present on the road. The GDL curfew varies between the states, but it cover the period from 10pm to 5am in most states.
Passenger Restriction for GDL Drivers
Passenger restrictions usually limit the number of teenage passengers that are allowed to be present in the vehicle with the GDL driver. In most states, the restriction only works for those GDL drivers who are not currently being supervised by their parent. If a supervising parent is present in the vehicles, the restriction does not apply.
The GDL curfew restrictions was put in place when it was shown that presence of other underage passengers in the vehicle significantly increases the chances of a car accidents. This usually happens for a number of reasons - the fact that teens are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior while surrounded by their peers and general distractions that may arise from the presence of peers. Thus, most states only allow one underage passenger to be carried by a GDL drivers license holder.
Depending on the state of residence, a person going through the GDL system may be subject to additional rules and restrictions. For example, the Joshua's law in Georgia requires all drivers license applicants to complete a drivers education class. You may check your state's drivers manual for the full list of restrictions that may be applicable in your case.