Percentage of teen drivers continues to drop

Jul 24, 2012 by Bernie DeGroat

(Phys.org) -- Thirty years ago, eight in 10 Americans ages 17-19 had a driver's license. Today, it's six in 10, say University of Michigan researchers.

In a follow-up to their previous studies examining the percentage of young persons with driver's licenses, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the U-M Transportation Research Institute say the trend has accelerated.

In 1983, about 87 percent of 19-year-olds, 80 percent of 18-year-olds and 69 percent of 17-year-olds owned a driver's license. Twenty-five years later in 2008, the percentages were 75, 65 and 50, respectively.

New data presented by Sivak and Schoettle shows that in 2010, those numbers have plummeted even more: about 70 percent of 19-year-olds, 61 percent of 18-year-olds and 46 percent of 17-year-olds had a driver's license.

In their research update appearing in the journal Prevention, Sivak and Schoettle extend their analysis by using driver's license records and general from the and the U.S. Census Bureau

While their findings show that the reduction in the percentage of with a license continued in 2010, they also reveal a decline in the number of driver's licenses for people of most age groups—except for slight increases for those 25-29 and those over 70.

"Overall, the observed decrease in driver licensing is consistent with the continued increase in Internet usage," Sivak said. "In our previous research, we found that the percentage of young drivers was inversely related to the proportion of Internet users. Virtual contact, through electronic means, reduces the need for actual contact."

Explore further: Hold on, tiger mom: Research refutes the idea that the traditional, strict 'Chinese' upbringing is superior

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fewer young, but more elderly, have driver's license

Dec 02, 2011

A lower proportion of young people have a driver's license today compared to their counterparts in the early 1980s—a trend not found among older age groups, a University of Michigan study shows.

Young Americans less likely to drive

Apr 06, 2012

(AP) -- Driving is becoming so last century. Since the end of World War II, getting a driver's license has been a rite of passage for teens, but that's less and less the case. The share of people in their teens, 20s and ...

Fuel economy slipped as gas prices dipped throughout April

May 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- After recently topping 24 miles per gallon for the first time ever, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States slipped back below that mark last month, say researchers at the University of Michigan ...

Vehicle fuel economy down again in June

Jul 10, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States has dropped for the third month in a row—likely reflecting the continuing reduction in gas prices, say researchers at the University of Michigan ...

Vehicle fuel economy falls again in May

Jun 06, 2012

(Phys.org) -- For the second straight month, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. fell by 0.2 mpg—likely reflecting a slight drop in gas prices, say researchers at the University of Michigan ...

Recommended for you

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

Sep 19, 2014

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0