The Spokesman-Review

Why Teens Aren’t Driving

Last year the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute released a report that suggested today’s teenagers are less interested in cars and driving than in past generations. While eight in ten Americans ages 17-19 had a driver’s license 30 years ago, only six out of every 10 teens were behind the wheel in 2012.

More recently the Institute’s researchers surveyed 618 unlicensed young adults to determine the reasons why they’ve yet to become motorists. Aside from the procrastinators who say they’re “too busy” to visit the DMV (37 percent), the top excuses included: too expensive to own a car (32 percent); able to get a ride from others (31 percent); prefer to walk or bike (22 percent); prefer to use public transportation (17 percent); environmental concerns (9 percent); and the ability to otherwise communicate and conduct business online (8 percent).

Perhaps telling of a seismic shift in our otherwise car-crazy culture, 22 percent indicated they plan to never get a driver’s license.

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