Fewer Teens Getting Driver Licenses: Study

Fewer Teens Getting Driver Licenses: Study

Young people today seem to be losing their passion for driving, and a University of Michigan study claims that only 60 percent of Americans aged 17 to 19 have a license.

In comparison, 80 percent of teens were licensed drivers 30 years ago. So why the drop in interest? The study suggests it’s primarily because of the internet and its ability to connect us to each other, driving now has less of an impact on young people. Before the computer, to connect with friends, the only real way was to drive to them.

In 1983, 87 percent of 19-year-olds, 80 percent of 18-year-olds and 69 percent of 17-year-olds owned drivers’ licenses, while today those numbers have dropped significantly.

The research group also observed a drop in licensing in every age group in 2010, but no other demographic had the severity in loss as these teenagers did.

“Overall, the observed decrease in driver licensing is consistent with the continued increase in internet usage,” said University of Michigan transportation researcher Michael Sivak. “In our previous research, we found that the percentage of young drivers was inversely related to the proportion of internet users. Virtual contact, through electronic means, reduces the need for actual contact.”

[Source: Auto News]

  • And this should be leading to fewer teen deaths on the road, and lower car insurance rates…yes?