I am just as guilty, if not more so, of getting off track on the subject, but just to take a side trip back to “Losing Interest In Cars…” for a moment, please… L L . . .
Getting a driver’s license used to be a rite of passage for teens, now many teens are choosing to wait longer to hit the roads.
Here I am in my '70s and I still cherish my driver’s license… And I love to drive and it does not matter if I have a destination or not… As I like to say, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey…”
I lived in New York State and when I turned 16 (1966), I took my learner’s permit test on my birthday. I had to wait a week before I could take the road test and it was the longest week of my young life…
As of 2023, the Federal Highway Administration says teens with licenses at 16 years old is down across the nation. They say 16-year-olds with licenses has dropped roughly 20% in the past 40 years.
Here in Virginia, drivers are able to get a learner’s permit at age 15 and a half. Some high schools even offer the driving permit test. The local Public Schools spokesperson say that teen driving interest is hard to track because their courses remain full amid a need for more driving instructors; however, once the teen gets their learner’s permit, they seem to lose interest in getting the license.
“Experts” here in Virginia point to a myriad of reasons for the trend including rising costs of cars, car insurance, and gas, decreased need to travel due to virtual social opportunities, increased instances of road rage and aggressive driving, and increased ride-share opportunities.
However, during an interview with several teenagers, one teen kept banging away on his phone all the time the interviewer was talking and when asked about this, the teen responded that having to drive a car was a distraction and it interfered with his “social presence…”
I do not know if he was joking or not, but he never took his eyes off his phone while speaking to the interviewer…