In the past teenagers couldn’t wait to get their driver license. Getting your driver license represented freedom and for some it was a rite of passage. But things have changed and today fewer teens are getting their driver licenses.
So, what is causing this drop in teens getting licenses? Some of them just don’t feel that they need a car to get around. In the city, there’s public transportation and in some cases it’s just less of a hassle than driving a car. Then there are services like Uber and Lyft that have changed things dramatically. Where only a few years ago being without a car could be a huge inconvenience, it’s no longer that much of a problem. Some see a car as more of an inconvenience. There’s the expense of gasoline, insurance and where to park the car that has turned many teens off to the idea.
Whatever the reasons there is a large trend among young adults in the United States who delay or forgo getting their driver license. The percentage of 16-year-olds nationwide with a license decreased from 46.2 percent in 1983 to 24.5 percent in 2014, according to a 2016 study by the University of Michigan. Thirty years later, almost half as many 16-year-olds are getting a license.
According to psychologists there are a growing number of teens who are simply worried about accidents. With highway safety statistics being what they are, for new drivers, safety is a reasonable concern. Motor-vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Perhaps teens today are more fearful and timid than teens of years gone by, or maybe they’re just more sensible and figured out they can do without driving a car. Maybe it’s just that there are more options for getting around now and have figured out that it’s cheaper not to own a car. Whatever the reason, teens are getting out of the driving business.