Fewer Youths Jump Behind the Wheel at 16

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For generations, driver’s licenses have been tickets to freedom for America’s 16-year-olds, prompting many to line up at motor vehicle offices the day they were eligible to apply.

No longer. In the last decade, the proportion of 16-year-olds nationwide who hold driver’s licenses has dropped from nearly half to less than one-third, according to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration.

Reasons vary, including tighter state laws governing when teenagers can drive, higher insurance costs and a shift from school-run driver education to expensive private driving academies.

To that mix, experts also add parents who are willing to chauffeur their children to activities, and pastimes like surfing the Web that keep them indoors and glued to computers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchTeens / Youth

3 Comments
Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Harvey wrote:

Let us also consider the economic downturn that makes it impossible for dear ole dad and ma to provide wheels for their kids.  To this situation add another sad thing;  the jobs that teens needs to support their expensive gas fed machines are now being filled by adults who need the cash just to keep a roof over their family’s head and food on the table.

February 26, 10:38 am | [comment link]
2. Clueless wrote:

I will note, that just in the past few months the faces in the window of our local fast food joints have changed from being those of teenagers and hispanics to middle aged white women and older white men.

February 26, 12:47 pm | [comment link]
3. Andrew717 wrote:

Who says you have to have a car to get your license?  Most of my peers (and myself) got a license in order to drive mom or dad’s car at night or on the weekend.  Though I admit it wasn’t funny when my dad tossed me a set of blank keys over my 16th birthday cake as a really bad joke, hope springing eternal and whatnot.

Not saying your observations aren’t true, just not directly related.

February 26, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
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