The ritual of rushing to get a driver’s license when turning 16 is diminishing. The freedom teens desired can now be realized by getting a ride with someone else.
2018 data from the Federal Highway Administration reports 61 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license compared to 80 percent in 1983. The number of 16-year-olds with a driver’s license decreased from 46 percent down to 25 percent in the same period.
Teens cited different reasons for not getting a license such as, preferring more environmentally friendly options, driving being too stressful and others just don’t care about cars.
General Motors developed a questionnaire with the top 8 reason teens gave for not having a driver’s license, they include:
- Too busy or not enough time to get a driver’s license
- Owning and maintaining a vehicle is too expensive
- Able to get transportation from others
- Prefer to bike or walk
- Prefer to use public transportation
- Concerned about how driving impacts the environment
- Able to communicate and/ or conduct business online
- Disability/medical/vision problems
The data went on to explain, 22 percent of the teens said they had no plans to obtain a driver’s license, while about 69 percent said they expect to get a license in the next five years. Young adults without a driver’s license-in comparison with the general population of the same age-tended to be less educated and experience higher unemployment.
Economics could certainly be a factor. “With car prices continuing to increase the trend of driverless teens could continue,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.
Edmunds reports used cars are continuing to increase in price due to low inventory in the new car market. As previously reported, the price increase is a result of the global chip shortage.