If teenagers are any guide, Americansâ€™ love affair with the automobile may no longer be something car makers can bank on.
The percentage of teens with a driverâ€™s license has tumbled in the last few decades and more young people are delaying purchasing their first carâ€”if buying one at all, say analysts, generational experts and car industry executives. About a quarter of 16-year-olds had a driverâ€™s license in 2017, a sharp decline from nearly half in 1983, according to an analysis of licensing data by transportation researcher Michael Sivak.
Whereas a driverâ€™s license once was a symbol of freedom, teenagers are reaching their driving age at a time when most have access to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to shuttle them around town. At the same time, social media and video chat let them hang out with friends without actually leaving the house....
It sounds like they are raised dependent on their Mom's Taxi to take them around, then continue being dependent on informal taxi services. This might be another one of those news stories about the Hip Youth that live in coastal US, in 'blue' cities, but not applicable to Real Youth living in Fly Over Land where there is no mass transit, no informal taxi services. I would like to see a chart showing how each state's teen driver license numbers have dropped over the past 20 yrs. Has Nebraska's or North Dakota's numbers gone down that much? Maybe not even in Minnesota this is true. This news item makes you wonder about the popularity of the 'Fast and Furious' movie series, that featured younger adults (I mean, you don't confuse Fast and Furious with your grandparents, do you?) in fast new cars. Maybe they can do a new series, "Mom's Taxi Fast and Furious" or "Uber-Fast and Furious" Insurance companies might be worried that they are going lose a lot of income from charging parents huge amounts for their kids driving. Also, maybe teens are driving, but just not bothering to get a license. Any police in the readership that have heard of that?