According to federal data released earlier this year, the number of teens applying for driver’s licenses nationwide is on the decline. While 44.7% of 16-year-olds got their driver’s license in 1988, that number had dropped to 30.7% in 2008.
Safety experts say there are several factors involved in this trend. One of them may be the rise of Facebook and other social networking sites that allow teens to stay in touch with friends without hanging out in person. The economy and the high cost of insuring teen drivers is thought to be another factor. A report from the U.S. Department Transportation shows that teens have the highest fatal crash rate of any age group, so safety concerns (both among parents and teens) could be playing a role in delaying applications for driver’s licenses.
Here in Massachusetts, teens are eligible to apply for a learner’s permit at age 16. In order to receive a Junior Operator License, the driver must be at least 16 and a half years old and have held a learner’s permit for at least six months. Junior Operators must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when driving between the hours of 12:30am and 5am. Massachusetts teen drivers may not use cell phones while driving at any time day or night.
Source: Fewer 16-year-olds applying for driver’s license, South Florida Suntinel, November 30, 2010
If you or your teen driver has been injured on the road, then please contact a Boston car crash lawyer to discuss your legal options during a free initial case evaluation.