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Teen drivers on the decline due to technology, study says

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New research reveals that significantly fewer teens are driving now compared to 30 year ago.

Researchers from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute compared the percentage of teens with driver’s licenses in 1983, 2008 and 2010. They noticed a drastic drop over time.

Here is some of the data for 17-year-olds:

• 1983 – 69% had their licenses
• 2008 – 50% had their licenses
• 2010 – 46% had their licenes

Researchers suggest the dip could be linked to teens’ increasing use of cell phones, the internet and social media to connect with one another.

Instructors with “I Drive Smart” Driver’s Education Program say teens in the D.C. area are also relying on public transportation.

Colin Smith, 18, is a teen who fits the trend. He’s finally getting behind the wheel.

He says until now, he's been too busy for driver's education. And his parents didn't encourage accelerating the process either.

“We were dragging our feet a little bit and he seemed to be willing to do that,” says his father, Winston Smith.

There are still plenty of teens who can't wait for that first day they can get their license.

“I've been looking forward to it since I first got my permit,” says 16-year-old Justin Margolin.

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