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March 3, 2024

It Is True – Fewer Teens Want Their License – But Why?

March 3, 2024


I am Seth Smiley of the Smiley Law Firm. In today’s edition of the Parents of Teen Drivers Facebook Group, we are discussing the trend among teenagers who want to drive less and less. It is a mystery why, so I did a little research that clearly showed that they don’t want to drive as much as when we were young.

I remember 15 and 16-year-olds being desperate to get their license. The data I looked at showed that in 1983 a poll of 16 and 19-year-olds had significantly higher rates of license holders.

Of the 16-year-olds, 47 percent already had their license, and by 2014 the rate had dropped to just 24 percent. Many people assume that it is due to tighter licensing restrictions in some states, but it represents over a 30 percent drop in just over 30 years. Interestingly, the rate of license holders amongst 19-year-olds also dropped by 18 percent over the same period.

So, why do teens want to drive less now? There are multiple reasons, such as other options being available like Lyft and Uber. The internet is a factor. Teens spend more time online and don’t feel the same need to go out and mix with friends as before.

Many people say they are afraid to drive. They don’t want to get into an accident or face anything going wrong. They might have had bad experiences when behind the wheel, at driver’s ed, or when being driven around.

The roads are also congested, and traffic is a painful experience. There are also more pedestrians to deal with and bicycles on the road.

As a parent, how does this reluctance to drive make you feel? You want your teen to have independence and be able to transport themselves around town. It seems strange that there are 19-year-olds who don’t have a license, even though they could be driving to college.

If you have any concerns or questions about this topic, please leave a message below. We will be happy to respond and answer any questions.

Thank you very much.

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