• Jul 12, 2013

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
      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!
        • 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.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm 18, turning 19 in August, and I only just got my license. I had a permit for two years, but the cost of gas, insurance and lack of car caused me to never feel the need to get a license. It was something that would have been a convenience rather than necessity for myself and family at the time. It has nothing to do with smartphones and social media; all that has changed is the ability to communicate more effectively than home phone calls.
      Jerry
      • 1 Year Ago
      I started driving around the farm when I was 12 years old. Could get a permit back then at 15 and I got my permit after my 15th birthday breakfast. Had my license at 16 (juniors driving license) Never had an accident and mighty proud of that. I have a friend who is Sheriff in our county who let me take the Sheriff's Dept driving test where I scored with only 1 point off the total score. (I didn't take the written test) My reaction time was exceptional for my age and the reason for that is that I have always been aware of the driving conditions and my surroundings. (pats self on back)
      • 1 Year Ago
      It might have been interesting to see if location had anything to do with the decrease. I live in the boondocks in south Florida, where bus transportation is a laugh. Maybe places like NYC or DC, with excellent transportation have fewer teen drivers, but not down here. I teach middle school and I had a student with a license!
      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.
        • 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.
      • 1 Year Ago
      good! text on the bus!
      rtgarton
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just love it. We have enough individuals driving around texting, eating, doing their nails or whatever other then paying attention on the roads. Dont you love when people drive in the left lane "faster lane" and are actively envolved with their smart phone. Multi tasking is a little rough for some people.
      jnwesner
      • 1 Year Ago
      You wrote " ... more likely to be involved in a deadly crash then their 20-year-old counterparts." If you're going to write for a living, please learn English. "Then" indicates time; "than" shows comparison.
        janka51
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jnwesner
        get a life
        ht4cycle
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jnwesner
        Good try in the writing police game. Look at what you did wrong. Can't see it? Plain as day. Your quotation mark ending the quote should be before the period. The quote came within the sentence. Ahhhh how snobs like you make my day brighter.
      bdgrizcp
      • 1 Year Ago
      When I was 16 and I got my license I had everything but a car. My insurance was $240 A YEAR. Did not have to drop most of a c-note on a smart phone every month. Living was far cheaper back then. And when I did get my hands on a car I could drive all night on a dollar of gas. Even with my mom's 63 Galaxie with the 312. What a gas hog. Ah, the good old days.
      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.
      mds308
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just because someone doesn't have a license does not mean they are not driving.
      msusie10
      • 1 Year Ago
      GOOD!! Keeping teens off the road is truly blessed!
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