Whether it was about ditching the bus or cruising to school in a shiny new car, teenagers have always had a reason to earn their driver’s licenses as soon as possible.
But a new study by AAA suggests that teens may no longer be raring to hit the road like they used to.
The report, released Aug. 1 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that only 44 percent of 18-20 year-olds surveyed nationwide said they had obtained a license within 12 months of the minimum age, and only 54 percent had earned a license by their 18th birthday. Additionally, 29 percent of those surveyed were still not fully licensed.
This represents a significant decrease from 23 years ago, when 77 percent of 18-year-olds had driver’s licenses, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Respondents listed several reasons for the delay:
44 percent said they did not have a car.
39 percent said they could get around without driving.
36 percent said gas was too expensive.
36 percent said driving in general was too expensive.
35 percent said they “just didn’t get around to it.”
Patch wants to hear from you—Are you a young adult who has not applied for a learner’s permit? Did you wait to get your license, and if so, what factors contributed to the delay? Or did you apply for your license on your 15-and-9-months birthday and earn it shortly after?
Reply in the comments below or start a conversation on our boards.