A major shift in driving

Fewer teens getting driver’s licenses as more seniors retain them.

This Los Angeles Time story details research done by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute that shows that teens are getting their driving licenses later and the elderly are holding on to them longer.

“Between 1983 and 2008, Sivak said the percentage of 16-year-olds obtaining driver’s licenses around the nation fell from 46.2% to 31.1%. The percentage of 17-year-olds with licenses fell from 68.9% to 50%. For 18-year-olds, the drop was from 80.4% to 65.4%.”

“In the 60 to 64 age range, the percentage with driver’s licenses increased from 83.8% to 95.9%. For those 65 to 69, license holders increased from 79.2% to 94%. For those 70 and older, the percentage with licenses grew from 55% to 78.4%.”

To me it shows just how dependent our society has become on the automobile. Many of the elderly are very reluctant to give up driving because they have no other alternatives.

The fact that the young are delaying getting their driving licenses provides hope that other forms of transportation including taking the bus, bicycling or walking may be able to gain a foothold. And when they do get their licenses, ridesharing or car sharing may be an attractive alternative to driving alone.



2 responses to this post.

  1. We will share this on our Facebook and Twitter!


  2. This is great information. We are really trying to encourage seniors to be part of ride sharing programs. It is interesting and good to see that young people are looking for other forms of transportation. -Anna, OUTREACH & Escort Inc.


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