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Percentage of teen drivers continues to drop

July 23, 2012

Thirty years ago, eight in ten Americans ages 17-19 had a driver's license. Today, it's six in ten, according to UMTRI researchers.

In a follow-up to their previous studies examining the percentage of young persons with driver's licenses, research professor Michael Sivak and colleague Brandon Schoettle 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 in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, shows that in 2010, those numbers have plummeted even more.

Read the U-M news release.