By Micheline Maynard
Driving is down five percent nationwide since 2004, and one of the biggest reasons is a significant drop in teens on the road. Only about 28 percent of 16-year-olds get their licenses, as we’ve told you before, and teens just don’t have the lust for automobiles that their parents and grandparents had.
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On Sunday afternoon, I talked about the quandary this poses for the carmakers on NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. You can listen to the show here.
There are a lot of reasons why teens are getting licenses, but we’d like to hear from our young audience. Is there anything that would make you more interested in driving? Or is it just not on your radar?
One of my Twitter followers suggested that mobile phones fill the role that cars once did. True? And if we have any car buffs, we’d be happy to hear from you. Why do cars make your heart pound?
Filed under Driving, media
My nephew, Parker J. Maynard, a 2013 graduate of Novi High School in Michigan.
By Micheline Maynard
I got my license the fall that I turned 16. I took driver’s ed from my high school during the summer, practiced a bit with my family, and then went down for my driving test. Voila! I was licensed to drive.
That was back in the 20th century, and getting a license isn’t that easy for many teens. For one thing, schools are by and large out of the driver’s ed business. And, many teens aren’t motivated to get their licenses, at least not the moment they are eligible. That’s one of the 10 big ideas we’re exploring at Curbing Cars. (See our previous story here.)
The latest statistics show that only 28 percent of 16-year-olds have their licenses. That’s down from 46 percent in 1983, according to federal state and an analysis by the University of Michigan.
The numbers go up after high school graduation. About 70 percent of 19-year-olds have their licenses. But that’s still down from 87 percent in 1983.
This is a factor in why driving is down for the overall population, one of the major issues we are studying at Curbing Cars.