Driving among high school students - United States, 2013

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Apr 3;64(12):313-7.

Abstract

During 2004-2013, the number of passenger vehicle drivers aged 16-19 years involved in fatal crashes in the United States declined by 55% from 5,724 to 2,568.* In addition to graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs and safer vehicles,† other possible contributors to the decline include adolescents waiting longer to get their driver licenses and driving less. The crash risk for drivers of any age is highest during the first months of independent driving, and this risk is highest for the youngest teenage drivers. To estimate the percentage of high school students aged ≥16 years who have driven during the past 30 days, by age, race/ethnicity, and location, CDC analyzed 2013 data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and YRBS data collected by 42 states and 21 large urban school districts. Nationwide, 76.3% of high school students aged ≥16 years reported having driven during the 30 days before the survey; 83.2% of white students had driven compared with <70% of black and Hispanic students. Across 42 states, the percentage of students who drove ranged from 53.8% to 90.2%. Driving prevalence was higher in the midwestern and mountain states. Across the 21 large urban school districts, the percentage of drivers varied more than twofold from 30.2% to 76.0%. This report provides the most detailed evidence to date that the percentage of students who drive varies substantially depending on where they live. Such information will be vital as states and communities consider potential ways to improve safety for older teenage novice drivers and plan for safe, affordable transportation options for those who do not drive.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schools
  • Students* / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult