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Protect Your Life and Lower your Insurance Rates with a GDL

If you’re just buying your first auto insurance policy, you may or may not know what a graduated driver’s license (GDL) is, but over the last 20 years, they’ve managed to save thousands of lives. At first, a GDL might sound like an obstacle. After all, if you sign up for a GDL, you’ll be held to different requirements and restrictions than drivers who go with a standard license, but a GDL could be the difference between life and death – and it makes you a better driver.

What is a Graduated Driver’s License?

For those who’ve never heard the term before, a graduated driver’s license allows drivers to get behind the wheel at three different levels of skill. When you first receive your license, you’ll be in the “learner’s stage”, a period of time where you’re required to drive under the supervision of a fully-licensed driver. If you’ve received a learner’s permit to drive, you’ve been a part of the first stage of the GDL system. Following this period of supervised driving, the newly trained driver will take a behind-the-wheel driving test to prove their skills before moving on to a less restrictive intermediate phase. This phase allows you to drive unsupervised during the day, but driving at night is restricted, and you may be limited to how many minors can ride along (if any). After that period of limitations, the driver is given a full driver’s license, complete with all of the privileges of any other driver’s license. So what’s the difference?

Are GDLs Helping?

According to a 2007 study led by Guohua Li, director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, the difference is truly a matter of life and death. The study shows that states with GDL laws experienced an 11% decline in fatal accidents involving 16-year-old drivers and a 19% drop in injury accidents. 11% sounds like a huge step in the right direction when you measure it in human lives, and the fact that car crashes are the leading cause of death in Americans ages 13 to 19 emphasizes the profound impact of these laws.

But how do all of these factors work to lower your liability insurance rates? Well, if you’ve participated in this graduated learning process, you already represent a lower risk level than a driver who didn’t, but you’re not just lowering your own auto insurance rates – you’re making car insurance cheaper for everyone in your state. States with proven-effective GDL programs saw an average 15% drop in insurance claims according to a 2009 data analysis by the Highway Loss Data Institute, and the fewer claims there are, the lower prices will be for all drivers.

The best way to keep your own auto insurance rates low is to be a good driver, and it looks like these GDL laws are helping America at large drive a little safer. Looking for cheap car insurance? You came to the right place. At Cost-U-Less Direct, we’re dedicated to providing individualized and helpful guidance in choosing an auto insurance policy that meets your needs and your budget. Call or click today!

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