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US study: 3 in 4 teens drive, with rates lowest in Hawaii and highest in the Dakotas

04/02/2015 02:14 EDT | Updated 06/02/2015 05:59 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - 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 per cent. North Dakota and South Dakota had the largest proportions, at about 90 per cent.

The teen driving rate in the U.S. was as high as 85 per cent a decade ago but has been declining, earlier research found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday found roughly 75 per cent 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 per cent — was in Charlotte, North Carolina. Close behind was — at 75 per cent — was Jacksonville, Florida.

—San Francisco, New York City and Boston were at the other end of the spectrum, with only about 30 per cent 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 per cent of white teens said they drove in the previous month, compared to a little under 70 per cent of blacks and Hispanics.

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Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

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