Safety

Colorado Teen Driving

Graduated Drivers Licensing

GDL laws

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched a public awareness campaign to help educate new teen drivers about safety laws that specifically apply to them, known as Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws.

GDL laws were designed to keep drivers under the age of 18 safe by giving them driving experience without distractions, and by limiting dangerous driving situations before they “graduate” and earn their full driving privileges.

Since the passage of GDL laws, overall fatal crashes declined significantly for young drivers ages 16 -17. Over the past 20 years, GDL laws have contributed to a near 50% reduction in traffic fatalities involving young drivers.

​​Tragically, seat belt use is lowest among teen drivers. In fact, the majority of teenagers involved in fatal crashes are unbuckled—in 2019, 45% of teen drivers who died were unbuckled. Even more troubling, when the teen driver involved in the fatal crash was unbuckled, nine out of 10 of the passengers who died were also not wearing their seat belts.

Continued education about GDL laws and enforcement of the restrictions are important for maintaining positive results. Learn more about the GDL laws below:


Keep Your License Safe

CDOT’s 2021 Problem Identification Statewide Report showed the majority of young drivers who were in a fatal crash had an intermediate driver’s license. To combat the rate of crashes among young drivers, CDOT launched the Keep Your License Safe campaign - a humorous and engaging social media effort that targets teens with information about laws that apply to them: no cell phones, no passengers under 21, and always wearing a seat belt.

CDOT’s Keep Your License Safe campaign focuses on three key GDL laws that apply to young drivers through a series of short videos using a peer-to-peer messaging model. Each video highlights a different GDL law, with one teen playing all the roles.


The Driver’s Seat

CDOT and the Teen Driving Alliance are committed to keeping our teens safe, and working toward reducing crashes and fatalities in Colorado. The Driver's Seat campaign encourages teen driving safety by providing valuable resources for parents, teens, schools and other safety advocates.

Parents

When your teen enters his/her driving years, it can generate a mix of excitement and worry for you both. The more you know about the licensing process and teen driving laws in Colorado, and the more you communicate about the responsibilities that come with driving, the better prepared you both will be.

Parent Influence: Setting Ground Rules

Learn how to get started on shaping your teen into a safe and capable driver. Spell Out the Rules: No cell phones, no passengers, no speeding, no alcohol, no driving when tired and always buckle up. These rules could help save your teen’s life. For more information and tips, visit nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving

Teens

There's almost nothing more exciting than the freedom and excitement that comes with getting your driver's license. But with that comes a lot of responsibility. Find out what you need to do to get your license, and learn about the laws for teen drivers in Colorado.

Schools & Safety Advocates

CDOT and the Teen Driving Alliance have prepared information and materials designed to help you promote teen driving safety in your community.


Colorado GDL Toolkit

While every state has a set of GDL laws, specific components of the law vary by state. It's important to know the GDL law in your state so that you can make informed decisions during the learning-to-drive process. Learn more about what the Graduated Driver Licensing system is, the GDL laws specific to Colorado, and how & why these laws are effective in preventing traffic injuries and fatalities by accessing the Colorado GDL Toolkit.