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The car, a symbol of for youthful rebellion for decades, may be losing its appeal among teenagers: A study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute showed that fewer than 30 percent of 16-year-olds and only about 45 percent of 17-year-olds had a driver's license in 2010.

The high cost of gas and insurance -- as well as more restrictive driving laws for teens -- are primarily to blame for the drop. Researchers also speculated that parents are now more willing to chauffeur teens.

In 1983 nearly half of all 16-year-olds and almost 70 percent of 17-year-olds had a license. The rate of teens with a driver's license 30 years later has dropped by half.

That may not be such a bad trend. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety kids ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash then their 20-year-old counterparts.

Time magazine has claimed that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have replaced the car culture of the past, allowing teens to connect with each other without needing a car. The current trend in the auto industry is integration of smartphone technology and user experience into cars to make driving more of a social networking activity, perhaps in the hopes of reclaiming this shrinking demographic.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 239 Comments
      KnockOff
      • 1 Year Ago
      GOOD!! Keeping teens off the road is truly blessed!
      quincy_maxwell
      • 1 Year Ago
      When I first got my permit, we were required to take a drivers education course for 6 weeks, which was offered to us by our school. The fee was not high and it was worth it. What a pity that funds have been cut so much from our public school systems that programs like this are no longer available. Now you have others teach you, or have to pay a small fortune to privately owned companies that teach you to drive in a week. Very little practice time, very little is taught about laws or even general maintenance. Says a lot about what law makes want to do concerning privatizing every aspect of education. Too man corners are cut.
      William
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gas costs? Give me a break. Untill thier 18 or more they spend mommy and daddys money for gas. These kids are too lazy to get away from thier games and computers and phones to learn. They expect everyone else to drive them around. Like a good little liberal. Someone else take care of me and give me what I want.
        jmfjfe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @William
        They do expect.. Why is that? What has changed? Kids use to listen to their parents... respect them. What has happened to this generation? My daughter, is working, going to college and figuring it out.. but slowly. She a good kid, and compared to most, reasonable. She does not get everything she wants handed to her.. but I can see that she sees others getting what they expect.. and wishes it was her.
      mds308
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just because someone doesn't have a license does not mean they are not driving.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Alfred Bundy, Calm down Buddy. As all systems that we deal with go completely computerized in ways you can't even possibly fathom.....you will need these "imbeciles" to help you get through the day.
      Mary
      • 1 Year Ago
      or maybe the cost of insurance has priced the teen out of a car due to affordability now. add to it that a family with 2 or more teens pay per teen even if there is only one car. add to it that the dumbass government has made it illegal to have your teen driver drop siblings at school due to number of passenger restrictions by law it is no longer effective to have a teen drive to school and drop off younger kids on the way so parent does it all. it isn't that less teens are wrecking percentage wise the cost of insurance and the restrictions have reduced the number of teens driving so of course there are less teen wrecks. again dumbass government we have way to much in this country.
        Steve
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mary
        The laws regulating driving tend to be local and/or state laws. Each state is different. In fact, within each State, there may be different regulations - but none that dictate who may let off students from/to school, etc. Where did those kind of ideas originate?
      sugarcreekchile
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another option, teens are exercising are street-legal dirt bikes and motorcycles. My son and his friends all bought used dirt bikes fairly cheap when younger teens. When they got part time jobs, they all bought new sport cycles, with parents cosigning, and paid for their own gas and insurance. The boys are in their late 20's now and all have cars, but they still keep replacing their motorcyles with newer models. They don't keep them to go riding but as cheap transportation for running around when they don't need the size of a car.
      impactvqi
      • 1 Year Ago
      teen ownership may be down, due to expense but they sure have cause the crime rate to go up to get their fix
      • 1 Year Ago
      Um, I'm sorry, but is walking really that big of a deal? I guess it's become so deep-rooted into our culture to be fat and lazy, that we forget that it's not necessarily a bad thing to walk places. Until the age of 18, I had no license. It is NOT that difficult to walk or ride a bike to a part-time job. If my car breaks down, I make the 45 minute walk (or 20 minute sprint) through the blistering heat UPHILL BOTH WAYS to get to work on time. Motorized vehicles are a privilege, not a right. And they most certainly aren't a necessity. 99% of events that require transportation are not MANDATORY to your survival. Everyone's been brainwashed to believe that you have to have a car to survive, just as they've been brainwashed to "have to" own a cell phone, a television, a computer. It isn't that hard to get by without these modern-day wants that we've tricked ourselves into believing are needs. In fact, it conserves money if anything. Books exist still. Bicycles. Walking with a briefcase to your place of business. It makes me sick how everyone complains about the laziness of the currently teenage generation, but you guys not only condone but INSTILL the sedentary lifestyle on them with "GET A CAR SO YOU CAN GET A JOB." It's supposed to be "GET A JOB SO YOU CAN ONE DAY HAVE THE LUXURY OF A CAR." Sigh...
        hpycmpr155
        • 1 Year Ago
        THank youfor the lecture Miss or Mr Self righteous Indignation.
        emeraldknightsky
        • 1 Year Ago
        While we're at it, why don't we get rid of those pesky antibiotics? All it does is make people soft! And 'lectricity! Who needs the bother.
      davefromfwb1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kids are lazy and don't need to work anymore to make money. They just ask the government for a check and they're golden! When I was 12 I mowed lawns for money, when I was 15 I got my first car just so I could tow the lawn mower around. Back in the late 70's and early 80's it was more of a reason to have a car was to get away from your parents. Nowdays with the way the laws are set up...parents don't mind if kids stay at home because they get tax breaks longer and kids stay in their rooms, on their phones or computers....who in their right minds back in the 70's and 80's wanted to sit at the house and stare at the walls? Nobody....although I wouldn't want to be a kid nowdays...I think their lifes suck.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @davefromfwb1
        Your right many of the kids now are lazy. However, the ones of us who didn't have wealthy parents that catered to our every whimper, we aren't.
          davefromfwb1
          • 1 Year Ago
          You're a rare person...most kids either don't care to work...and the ones that "have" to work I feel sorry for. I've always had to work....the pay doesn't equal the amount of work a person does so alot of people just sit on their butts and collect welfare. Unfortunately Walmart and the other big "box stores" have set up the pay scales so people won't get paid more than 8-9 dollars per hour. They say people that work at Walmart shouldn't get paid more than minimum wage but most of the manufacturing jobs are gone and Walmart's jobs are the ones that replaced them.....meaning the skill set needed for most jobs are now jobs that only require customer service skills....not hard manual labor jobs like steel mills, auto line workers, utility pole climbers....all those hard 20-40 dollar hour per jobs are gone for good to be replaced by 8 dollar "how can I help you" Walmart workers. It's sad but true...that's why Walmart customer service jobs should be paying 15 dollars to start. I feel sorry for workers today...I was making 8 dollars per hour cutting grass!! That was back in 1979!!
      tangledweb1027
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh, you mean parents refusing to let their insurance premiums increase has nothing to do with it? Given the cost of insurance for teen drivers and the increasing difficulty of middle class families to cover thier necessary expenses, did we need a research study to understand why teen driving is down?
      WINNER!!!!!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      ...typical Baby Boomers Kids..Kids...lazy..its not about gas and Insurance..we all know when we are 10 in 6-7 years we can drive. The newest of generations have a Gimmi attatude and the Parents/Schools have taught them that. No self work ethics ...no self motivation...no care for much of anything is what todays Kids are. A cell Phone and the latest pair of Hat and Shoes and Sponging off the rest of us!
        Yo...
        • 1 Year Ago
        @WINNER!!!!!!
        http://i.imgur.com/EGZ6gMR.jpg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @WINNER!!!!!!
        Kid's learn from their parents now don't they?! When my kids were young they were taught if they wanted to play they had to do their chores first. They have there own households and teach their children the same things they were taught. So please do not generalize.
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