More teens waiting to get their licenses


More teens are choosing to wait to get a driver’s license, according to new data out of the University of Michigan.

A couple of  years ago, I talked about how the Japanese were losing their romance with cars and downsizing. Some families were skipping cars altogether and using the country’s great transportation system. Others were downsizing from two cars to one.

But I never thought this could happen in America. After all, our public transportation system isn’t robust and the open road seems to be imprinted on our national DNA.

But never say never. New stats out show that teens are waiting longer to get their licenses. The University of Michigan finds that only two-thirds of teens now have a license at 19.

Interestingly, it’s not parents who are keeping teens off the roads; it’s the teens themselves. Many are choosing to bum rides with friends instead. Perhaps the high cost of auto insurance, maintenance, and gasoline has something to do with it.

This whole mindset is alien to me and probably to most older Americans. When I was a teen, I had a calendar and counted the days down until I turned 16. While it varies by state, 16 is the age at which most teens can get some kind of provisional license.

The benefit to this new trend is that the longer young motorists wait to get behind the wheel, the safer they tend to be.

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