NEW YORK (AP) – A new government study finds about 3 out of 4 older teens are driving, but rates vary widely by state and city.
Hawaii had the lowest percentage of teen drivers, at 53 percent. North Dakota and South Dakota had the largest proportions, at about 90 percent.
The teen driving rate in the U.S. was as high as 85 percent a decade ago but has been declining, earlier research found.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday found roughly 75 percent of teens 16 and older are drivers. Researchers also – for the first time – reported driving rate differences from place to place.
The report was based on a 2013 survey of tens of thousands of teens in 42 states and 21 cities. States not included: California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.
The study also found:
-Among 21 large school districts, the highest proportion of drivers – 76 percent – was in Charlotte, North Carolina. Close behind was – at 75 percent – was Jacksonville, Florida.
-San Francisco, New York City and Boston were at the other end of the spectrum, with only about 30 percent of kids 16 and older saying they drove in the previous month. In those cities, there’s more public transportation and owning and parking a car is more of a hassle.
-About 83 percent of white teens said they drove in the previous month, compared to a little under 70 percent of blacks and Hispanics.