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Study finds fewer teens are driving than in 1980s

Saturday - 12/10/2011, 9:50am  ET

WASHINGTON - A new study shows that a smaller percentage of teenagers have driver's licenses now than in the early 1980s.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say just about 75 percent of 19-year-olds in the U.S. had licenses in 2008 -- down from 87-percent in 1983.

The proportion has dropped for 20- and 30 somethings too. The researchers say virtual contact might be replacing the need to drive across town, plus some teens might see driving as interfering with their texting.

Meanwhile, a higher percentage of older people are staying on the road into their 70s and beyond.

WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow Max and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)