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September 13, 2000

Automobile Crashes and Teenaged Drivers—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(10):1239. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1239

In Reply: Dr Males cites data from California to cast doubt on the wisdom of graduated licensing systems for teenaged drivers; however, it is still too early to determine the effects of California's stricter graduated licensing law, which went into effect on July 1, 1998. Males' analysis assumes that all 16-year-old drivers in crashes from July 1, 1998, to June 30, 1999, were subject to the new law. However, any 15- or 16-year-old who applied for a learner's permit or provisional license prior to July 1, 1998, was not covered by the law.1 Furthermore, there might have been a rush to apply for permits prior to July 1, 1998, which could have increased the number of 16-year-old drivers at risk of crashing during 1998-1999.

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