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Fewer teens driving in the US

Teenagers face the biggest threat on the road and have the highest risk of being killed in a car accident in the U.S. A new study found that fewer teens are getting their driver's license before they turn 18. However, researchers don't beleive that this will necessarily reduce their risk for getting into a car accident

A new study by the American Automobile Association found that less than 50 percent of teens obtain their driver's license during their first year of being eligible to drive. The study found that 44 percent of teens in the U.S. get their driver's license within the first year after turning 16.

The number of teens getting their driver's license has decreased during the last few decades. Twenty years ago, over two-thirds of teenagers got their license before they turned 18 compared to only 54 percent of teens getting their license by the time they reach the age of 18.

Why are more teens waiting to get their driver's license? The study reported that teens are waiting to get their driver's license due to not having a vehicle, cost of gas, other transportation options, too nervous to drive and other costs associated with driving. The study also reported that teens who were from low-income households were less likely to have their license before age 18.

The AAA is concerned that fewer teens are getting their driver's license because teens who wait until age 18 are not required to adhere to state graduated licensing laws. The AAA said that since more drivers are waiting to get their license, more research should be done risk factors older novice drivers face since there are no current GDL laws for new drivers who are 18 or older.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, "Are fewer teens interested in driving?" Suzanne Kane, Aug. 5, 2013

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