New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that young drivers are looking to start behind the wheel even earlier than before.
“More than 60 percent of teens nationwide got their driver’s licenses before the age of 18,” said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. “That’s an 11% increase since 2012.”
Teens living in the Midwest tend to be licensed at younger ages.
“Like other places in the Midwest, Kansas’ beginning teen drivers can start instruction earlier than other regions of the country,” said Steward. “The state’s graduated driver’s licensing program has really helped to boost teen driver safety through increased supervised driving, reduced exposure to high-risk driving situations and just a lot of overall safety components, which are really good for teens.”
The program takes several steps to get teens familiar with driving before they are on their own.
“It starts as early as age 14 with an instruction permit,” said Steward. “That allows a young teen a one-year permit process. They must be supervised with a licensed adult, 21 or over, in the front seat at all times when they’re driving, plus, no wireless phone usage and other restrictions. Then, they can graduate up to a restricted license at age 15 and then a less-restricted license when they turn 16. You can receive your full, unrestricted license as early as 16 and a half.”
Full details of Kansas’ Graduated Driver Licensing requirements may be found at https://www.ksrevenue.org/dovgdl.html.