More than 60 percent of teens got their driver’s license before the age of 18, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
“The trend for teens to acquire their driver’s license has changed over the past 10 years,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Many are getting a license before the age of 18, which means more of Generation Z is learning to drive under the protection of state graduated driver licensing programs and parental supervision.”
Past AAA Foundation research found that for every mile driven, new teen driver’s ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. All states have in place graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems for teen driver’s ages 16 and 17 to help them gradually learn the rules of the road under less risky conditions. The programs require minimum holding periods and practice requirements for teens with learner’s permits, followed by restricted licenses that limit driving at night or with peer passengers.
A previous AAA Foundation study found that drivers first licensed at age 18 are more likely to be involved in a crash resulting in injuries during their first year of solo driving than new drivers licensed at any other age.
Reports show that it is imperative if all new drivers practice driving with a skilled coach through a variety of routes and in different weather conditions before heading out on their own. By setting parameters, new drivers can greatly minimize their risk of a crash.