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Fewer teen drivers on the road?
November 4, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
Fewer teens are learning to drive, according to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The number of high school seniors with a driver's license nationwide fell from 85 percent in 1996 to 73 percent in 2010, according to the CDC. The same study said 22 percent of high school seniors who were surveyed had not driven a car during the week before taking the survey. An article by the Highway Loss Data Institute attributes most of the decline down to economics. Nationwide, a sluggish economy means that fewer kids can afford to pay for insurance, a driver's license and gas for a car, they reason. The plus side of fewer teen drivers is probably that there are fewer accidents, since inexperienced teen drivers are probably responsible for more accidents than those who are a few years older.
The average age for kids to get a license is about 16 or 17 in most states. I have always thought North Dakota ought to raise the age for kids to get a license to at least 16. Fourteen or 15 seems too young. Judging from the full parking lot at Minot High School-Magic City Campus, I have my doubts that fewer 17 and 18-year-olds here have been putting off getting their driver's licenses. In North Dakota, driving is considered to be a necessity, though somehow I managed to get around via walking, public transportation and begging rides before I finally got my driver's license at 21.
Have you noticed fewer teens on the road? Do you think North Dakota ought to raise the age to get a driver's license?
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