Safety

Trends in Teen Driving Licensure: Driving Patterns and Crash Involvement

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey provides nationally representative annual estimates of licensure and driving patterns among U.S. teens. The survey's most recent results show that from 2006 to 2015, the proportion of high school seniors with a driver's license has declined from 81 percent to 72 percent.

Results also show that over that same time period, the proportion of high school seniors that did not drive during an average week increased from 18 percent to 26 percent.

While during the decade, 17- and 18-year-old drivers experienced large declines in fatal and non-fatal injury crashes, crashes increased in both 2014 and 2015.

The MTF data indicates the licensure and driving patterns among high school seniors have not rebounded since the economic recession. The recession had marked negative effects on teen employment opportunities, which likely influenced teen driving patterns.

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