Teen driver taking driving test. The fatal-accident rates per 100,000 people are now higher for 85-plussers than for those in their teens and early 20s, and it’s hard to see what could drive them lower, barring a licensing crackdown, until automated vehicles take over. (Photo: iStock)

Remember all those stories a few years ago about how American teenagers had soured on driving?

They were based on real evidence: mainly a series of studies by Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak, then of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, that among other things showed the share of U.S. 16-year-olds with driver’s licenses falling from 46.2% in 1983 to 24.5% in 2014.

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