Monday, July 23, 2012

Interesting Fact of the Day: Many of Today's Teens Are Too Busy Surfing and Texting to Drive

The percentage of 19-year-olds in the U.S. who have driver's licenses dropped from 87.3% in 1983 to 69.5% in 2010, according to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute.

"It reflects mostly the increased use of the Internet," said Michael Sivak, research professor and the head of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. "The virtual contact that is possible through electronic means is reducing the actual physical need of contact among young people. Furthermore, some young people feel that driving interferes with texting and other electronic communication."

Meanwhile, the percentage of people with a driver's license who are 70 or older has increased from 55% in 1983 to 80% in 2010.

Source: USA Today

16 Comments:

At 7/23/2012 9:40 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

These kids are going to get into the workforce and feel like they've entered a museum, with all the emphasis on showing up to an office every day as opposed to telecommuting. Tech is changing so fast that the workplace, education, medicine- which has the most backwards computing environments of them all, it's like you've entered the '80s again- all these institutions are essentially obsolete, because the old fuddy-duddies running them are completely clueless about the changes that are happening, so they don't even think about how to adapt. I'm from the genaration just before all this instantaneous communication took off through the internet and I'm amazed at how backwards most workplaces are, even at the biggest, most advanced tech companies. That's a recipe for disruption, big changes are coming to all these markets.

 
At 7/23/2012 9:45 AM, Blogger Gene Hayward said...

I posted this on my Facebook Page yesterday and i got lots of responses from students (I am a high school teacher), current and former, and parents. I mostly got responses regarding the cost of insurance, the lack of social stigma from parents driving kids around at a later age---result of the "soccer mom/mini-van" generation I suppose, and fewer kids working part-time jobs. No one stated the internet or texting as part of their personal sitation. Seems like it is partly/wholly(?) a result of our "bubble-wrap" mentality (I am guilty) we have about the millenials. I am not sure the correlation is there for the stated cause in the study.

 
At 7/23/2012 10:06 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Thanks, Gene, that's interesting, and makes sense, thanks for the input.

 
At 7/23/2012 10:43 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

I don't dispute the statistics but I'm not sure the interpretations are solid.

Jobs and careers are increasingly mobile now days.

beltways around most urban areas continue to be giant congestion machines.

there is a large unemployment rate for young people now days.

the young that do have jobs often have entry-level lower paying jobs that sometimes leave them living with parents.

As young people get older and marry and have families, it's very hard to imagine them continuing to not have drivers licenses. I mean HOW are they going to get THEIR kids to soccer games!

:-)

 
At 7/23/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i would be willing to bet that this had far more to do with changes in living location than anything else.

the early 80's was the peak of the suburbanization trend.

since then, the % of people living in cities has gone up greatly.

urban kids do not need/get cars.

 
At 7/23/2012 10:55 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I have to agree with you two, Larry and Gene. I'm not sure the Internet and texting has as much to do with it as does the cost of owning a vehicle and the youth unemployment.

 
At 7/23/2012 11:02 AM, Blogger Monkeesfan said...

Interesting but it's more short term than long - interacting on a computer or text machine will never be a substitute for life, and at some point teens have to put down the ipad and start moving around and interacting with people and life.

 
At 7/23/2012 11:08 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The percentage of 19-year-olds in the U.S. who have driver's licenses dropped from 87.3% in 1983 to 69.5% in 2010"...

Good! Keep the wreckless, young bastards (we were all there at one time) off the roads so us wreckless old bastards have more space between vehicles....:-)

 
At 7/23/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Good! Keep the wreckless, young bastards (we were all there at one time) off the roads so us wreckless old bastards have more space between vehicles....:-)



I especially appreciate the smart asses who pass you on the left then cut back in front on you for the next exit...

but the older left-lane blockers are almost as bad.

 
At 7/23/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

It's unfathomable to me that a 19-year-old wouldn't want a drivers license.

When I was a teenager, I was chomping at the bit to get a drivers license at the earliest possible moment.

 
At 7/23/2012 1:34 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

When I was a teenager, I was chomping at the bit to get a drivers license at the earliest possible moment.

I think they all are, but costs are huge.

I don't know how old you are (don't tell me), but I was having this same conversation with my Dad last week. When he was a teenager (late 60's-early 70's), you could buy a junk car for a few hundred dollars, in sure it for $20 run it into the ground, and repeat the process.

When I went to go buy my first car 5 years ago (she's still running, by the way!), it cost me $4,000, plus $200/mo to insure the thing. How many teenagers can afford $200/mo?

 
At 7/23/2012 2:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I too could not wait to get my license but my parents made me pay for the insurance.. so I had to get a job to do that.

carrot - stick... worked!

 
At 7/23/2012 4:54 PM, Blogger JakeW said...

Keep in mind, the percentage represents those with driver's licenses and not those with cars. Although, I would say that the two are certainly related. Obviously, if you can't have your own car then there's less incentive to have a driver's license. I wonder how the percentage has behaved since 1983. Has it been a relatively linear decline? Did it really drop off since 2000? I would suspect that the recent economic woes meant many teens wouldn't have their parents to buy them a car so they cared less about getting a license.

 
At 7/23/2012 7:53 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Jon Murphy

My first car cost $350 (which is less than the monthly payment on my current car)

 
At 7/24/2012 2:12 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Monkeesfan:

"Interesting but it's more short term than long - interacting on a computer or text machine will never be a substitute for life, and at some point teens have to put down the ipad and start moving around and interacting with people and life."

And why would that be true?

 
At 7/24/2012 2:15 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It's unfathomable to me that a 19-year-old wouldn't want a drivers license."

And it's unfathomable to me that a parent would drive their 19 year old from place to place as if they were a little child.

 

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