Youâ€™re sitting in the passenger seat of your momâ€™s car waiting for her to take you to your best friendâ€™s house. Youâ€™re fifteen and a half. This means you can get your driverâ€™s permit and soon you can get your driverâ€™s license. Your friend just turned sixteen and gotÂ her license, but her parents canâ€™t afford to buy her a car, not to mention put her on their auto insurance and pay for gas.
Everybody drives, right? Itâ€™s the next step â€¦ Or is it? You think to yourself, â€œI donâ€™t really need my driverâ€™s license. My school is five minutes away and all of my friends live nearby. My parents probably wonâ€™t even get me a car, and Iâ€™m pretty sure car insurance is really expensive. How would I pay for gas?â€
So, you decide to wait.
Nowadays, the decision to wait to get a driverâ€™s license is becoming more and more common for teens. Sixteen-year-old drivers are becoming an anomaly, and more people are waiting until they are eighteen, nineteen, or even in their twenties before taking a driverâ€™s test. Shockingly, the percentage of high school seniors with a license fell from 85% in 1996 to 73% in 2010.
The recession most likely decreased the number of teens obtaining their driverâ€™s licenses, as the cost of cars, gas, and auto insurance increased, along with the rise in teen unemployment. According to 37% of teens, owning and maintaining a vehicle is just too expensive.
In fact, teens in families with higher incomes are much more likely to get their licenses than those in low-income families. Most likely, thoseÂ parents are able to afford purchasing a vehicle for their teens and adding them to their auto insurance cost while also providing gas money.
AboutÂ 31% of teens prefer to rely on their parents who are willing to drive them to school, to practice, and to hang out with their friends. Today, parents donâ€™t mind driving their teens around, especially when it means their sixteen-year-olds arenâ€™t driving on dangerous highways with little experience.
This new generation of teens is different. Getting into college and keeping up with social media are higher priorities than getting a driverâ€™s license. As many as 37% of teens say they are too busy and donâ€™t have the time to get a driverâ€™s license.
Instead of stressing out about paying for a car, gas, auto insurance and college parking passes, teens are increasingly relying on other transportationÂ and breaking out of the stereotype thatÂ young people are rushing to get onto the open road.
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