Q1. How many teen drivers are there?

A1. The first year the driver license data was broken out by age was 1964; there were 7,874,993 licenses issued to drivers under the age of 20 (Highway Statistics Summary to 1995, see Table DL-220). In 1997, there were 9,626,944 teen drivers (Highway Statistics 1997, see Table DL-20).

Q2. What criteria is used to determine which teen drivers are counted?

A2. In order to establish a fair base for what constitutes an "unrestricted" licensed driver, we use the biennial report Driver License Administration Requirements and Fees. In 1990 (Highway Statistics 1989), a strict standard was established to determine the number of unrestricted drivers under the age of 16 on the road. This new rule stated that a driver must be able to drive inclusively between the hours of 5:00 A.M. and 12 Midnight without another licensed driver in the vehicle. Since this new standard cut the number of drivers from 1988 to 1995 approximately 60% in the under 16 category, one must keep this in mind when comparing the data from earlier years.

Q3. How many States issue unrestricted licenses to drivers under the age of 16?

A3. In 1997, we had 5 States that fell into this category:

Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota