The data also show that the number of drivers without a valid driver’s license has increased. Compared with the data from 2008, the number of drivers holding a valid driver’s license has increased slightly for women in Germany, Poland, and Hungary, and for men in Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the USA, while it has decreased slightly for women in the USA and for men in Australia, the UK, Sweden, and the USA. Drivers with a valid license have increased slightly in Germany and declined slightly in Italy and the USA. The number of valid drivers has declined in all countries, except for Germany, which is the only country with an increase of valid drivers. Compared with the data from 2000, there is an increase in the number of valid drivers in Germany, Poland, and Hungary. Moreover, in the last three years, the number of valid drivers in the USA has increased slightly [ ] and in Canada in the last four years, the number of valid drivers has remained flat. In general, the decrease in drivers’ licenses is related to increases in traffic crashes. The decrease in drivers’ licenses may also have an adverse effect on road safety. It may cause a shortage in the supply of new drivers, resulting in an increase in the number of crashes with a previous record holder as the driver.
On the other hand, the number of licensed drivers has declined in every country. In Germany and Australia, the number of licensed drivers has decreased by approximately 1,000 since 2008. In all countries, the decrease in the number of licensed drivers is probably related to changes in licensing procedures, with effects on the number of licensed drivers being apparent in all countries, except for Germany, which is the only country where the number of licensed drivers has increased. The number of licensed drivers appears to be mainly driven by changes in the licensing process in Australia, which is one of the few countries in which the number of licensed drivers has increased. For example, the current law in Australia requires that, as a condition for renewing a valid driver’s license, the person must successfully complete a driver’s-education program, receive a licence suspension or revocation, or receive a conviction (excluding minor traffic offences or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs). Such licensing restrictions have had the effect of reducing the number of licensed drivers in Australia since 2008. In the USA and Canada, although the number of licensed drivers has declined, the percentage of licensed drivers has remained steady in the last four years in all countries, except for the USA, which has a higher percentage of licensed drivers than 2008. The decline in licensed drivers is mainly related to increasing participation rates in defensive driving programs and to a reduction in the participation of people with restricted licenses (that is, people with a suspended licence or people with an impaired driving conviction), which affects the statistics on all vehicle types. As in the case of unlicensed drivers, the number of drivers with a restricted license is driven by licensing procedures. For example, in some countries, a person with a restricted licence may purchase a new licence (licence transfer), pass the licensing examination (licence renewal), or present a graduated driver license as evidence of passing a general-driver-license-examination (for new drivers) or demonstration of safe driving (for restricted drivers). However, such licensing restrictions have had the effect of reducing the number of drivers with a restricted licence, as licensing restrictions do not affect the percentage of drivers with a restricted licence [ ] 3d9ccd7d82