Why Teens Are Choosing NOT To Drive

July 27, 2023
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The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is reporting a 24% drop in the number of teenagers driving in the United States from 1995 to 2021. The study found that the number of teens who are driving in 2021 is 40 percent versus a healthy 64% in 1995. As we are in the midst of the 100 deadliest days for teens getting into accidents it is important to understand the change and determine if this has an impact on a teen’s ability to drive more safely.

A New Haven auto accident can occur with drivers of any age, but teens are far more likely to be driving recklessly and at higher speeds then those who are over the age of twenty years old and that is likely due to inexperience and peer pressure. The reduction in teen drivers may be seen by safety experts as a win, as many have pushed for laws such as “graduated” licensing like the one that exists in Connecticut to reduce teen driving and encourage teens to participate in many hours of practice before they actually are out on the roads by themselves.

This legislation alone is not the only reason cited by safety experts for the decline in teens who are receiving driver’s licenses. In fact, according to the FHA there are quite a few reasons why teens are less likely to be driving at an early age including;

1.) Expensive cars. While it may have been commonplace for teens to find cheap, pre-owned vechiles on the market in the 1990s, as we hit the midway point of the second decade of the 2000s, car costs have skyrocketed often leaving teen buyers out of the mix for being able to afford them. For this reason, there is minimal reason for them to get their driver’s license in their teens.

2.) Similarly to the price of vehicles, the prices for gas and insurance have skyrocketed with increased inflation. This rise in cost can be prohibitive to teens trying to buy and maintain a vehicle and the costs required to keep the car on the road.

3.) With the advent of ride-sharing apps and delivery apps, there is less of a reason for teens to leave the house and if they do there is an option to get them to where they are going without having to beg their parents for a ride. Now apps like Uber are making it easier and easier for teens to get around without having to rely on expensive cars and putting gas in their vehicles.

4.) One surprising, but not unexpected finding in the study is that teens are doing much more of their socializing online then they previously had been doing and therefore the need to get from friend’s house to friend’s house has reduced.

Teens driving cars can be a recipe for New Haven auto accidents, especially in the summer when kids are out of school. While there may be some social questions that arise when looking at this dramatic shift in teen behaviors, from a safety standpoint there is a lot of upside to the fact that teens are waiting longer to get their licenses then previous generations.

Whether you’re a teen or an adult, if you get injured in an accident you may need to speak with an attorney to review your situation. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will speak with you and work with you on understanding the details of your situation and protecting your long-term interests.