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January 20, 2016

A US driver licence no longer the holy grail

A study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute confirms that learning to drive in the US is longer the rite of passage it was for young people.

A study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute confirms that learning to drive in the US is longer the rite of passage it was for young people.

Taking data from the Federal Highway Administration, authors Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle found that there has been a continuous decrease in the number of people holding a drivers' licence since 1983.

The three main findings revealed that the percentages for 20- to 24-year-olds in 1983, 2008, 2011, and 2014 were 91.8%, 82.0%, 79.7%, and 76.7%, respectively. For 45- through 69-year-olds, there was an increase in the percentage of persons with a driver's license from 1983 to 2008, followed by a continuous decrease from 2008 to 2014. 

For example, the percentages for 60- to 64-year-olds in 1983, 2008, 2011, and 2014 were 83.8%, 95.9%, 92.7%, and 92.1%, respectively. For those 70 years and older, there was an increase in the percentage of persons with a drivers' licence from 1983 to 2008, followed by an increase from 2008 to 2011, and a decrease from 2011 to 2014.  The percentages for 1983, 2008, 2011, and 2014 were 55.0%, 78.4%, 79.2%, and 79.0%, respectively.

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