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Recent changes in the age composition of drivers in 15 countries

UMTRI-2011-43

In: Traffic Injury Prevention, Vol. 13, issue 6, (2012), p. 126-132.

Authors: Michael Sivak, Brandon Schoettle.

Objective: This study examined the recent changes in the percentage of persons with a driver's license in 15 countries as a function of age. Method: The countries included were Canada, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Results: The results indicate 2 patterns of change over time. In one pattern (observed for 8 countries), there was a decrease in the percentage of young people with a driver's license, and an increase in the percentage of older people with a driver's license. In the other pattern (observed for the other 7 countries), there was an increase in the percentage of people with a driver's license in all age categories. A regression analysis was performed on the data for young drivers in the 15 countries to explore the relationship between licensing and a variety of societal parameters. Of particular note was the finding that a higher proportion of Internet users was associated with a lower licensure rate. Implications: The results of the analysis are consistent with the hypothesis that access to virtual contact reduces the need for actual contact among young people.