American teens are less keen to get behind the wheel once they come of age. According to numbers from the Federal Highway Administration analyzed by news website Green Car Congress, only approximately 61 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license in 2018, compared to 80.4 percent in 1983. While age restrictions vary by state and not all 16-year-olds can be license holders, the number of 16-year-old licensed drivers has also significantly decreased from 46.2 percent in 1983 to 25.6 percent in 2018.
Despite the holdups, the number of older adults holding a driver’s license in the U.S. has not decreased significantly. In 1983, 94.9 percent of 35-39-year-olds had a license, compared with 90.9 percent in 2018.
According to PBS, tougher rules for younger drivers as well as the availability of ridesharing and ride-hailing apps in many places are reasons why teenagers delay getting their license.