The Numbers Crunch: What’s up with teens today? Fewer wish to drive

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 2:41 AM

Not so much any more, according to the latest federal figures. Fewer than 1.1 million Americans sixteen and younger had driver’s licenses in two thousand-fourteenth, down from 1.7 million in two thousand-ninth.

The Numbers Crunch: What’s up with teens today? Fewer wish to drive

Getting a license and getting behind the wheel as soon as possible have been a teenage rite of passage forever.

Not so much any more, according to the latest federal figures.

Fewer than 1.1 million Americans sixteen and younger had driver’s licenses in two thousand-fourteenth, down from 1.7 million in two thousand-ninth. The no is the lowest since the one thousand nine hundred sixty, when our pop was distant smaller, .

In all, about 8.5 million teenagers had licenses, about four % of all drivers. In car-crazy California, there were fewer than 69.000 drivers who were sixteen, and about 866.000 who were nineteen or younger.

If you believe , the trend is due to a combination of social media and tough times. During the Grand Recession, families couldn’t afford to give teens their own cars, and teens had less money to purchase gas. As the economy recovers, teen driving is But the social media revolution shows number signs of slowing. With incessant texting, fewer teens perceive the necessity to meet up in person.

Or maybe some teens prefer being chauffeured around by helicopter parents. They may wish to do their portion on climate modify by bicycling, walking and taking the bus instead. Or possibly the freedom of the open road isn’t as alluring.

That’s tough for me to fathom. I got my learner’s permit at fifteenth. One of my lasting high school memories is of going for drives in the country, the wind blowing through my hair, Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road” blasting from the 8-track. I’ve tried to forget the speeding ticket I got while headed to a concert and the fender-bender that happened on the rush back to school from lunch.

Though fewer teens are getting licenses, they still have than any other age group – three times higher than for drivers twenty and older. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, claiming more than 2.600 lives in two thousand-fourteenth.

But that tragic toll is distant less than the nearly 6.400 deaths in one thousand nine hundred-ninetieth. Cars have been built more safely and every state has passed that keep youthful drivers below strict limits on when they can drive and who can be in the car with them. They've fewer limits as they obtain more experience behind the wheel.

If only teens would crack their social media habit. We all know that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, number matter how invincible youthful people might think they are. It never ceases to amaze when I look youthful drivers looking at their phones – while going seventy-five miles per hour on Interstate eighty.

However many teens obtain their licenses, we wish them – and everyone else on the road – to be as secure as possible.

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