Modern Teens Consider Obtaining A Drivers License a Lower Priority
Research is showing that more teens are putting off getting their Iowa drivers license for longer periods than previous generations. Experts have found that modern teens just aren’t that interested in driving. The Iowa Department of Transportation has recorded that the number of teenagers with a driver’s license or an Iowa drivers permit has plummeted by 20,000 between 2001 and 2012. This new trend has been attributed to many different factors including: The economy, new shifts in teenage priorities and a changing social environment.
Iowa is also not the only state to notice this trend in the nation. In fact, the entire nation is experiencing a decline in teenagers applying for a license. The Federal Highway Administration reported that 200,000 fewer teens took the permit test in 2010 than in the year 2000.
While the number of young drivers has declined, the number of total drivers has actually increased in the last ten years. Still, experts are interested in why young people aren’t in a hurry to get their licenses anymore.
Several experts have tried to explain in more detail why teenagers are not interested in driving like they used to be. A representative from the Iowa Department of Transportation has several theories. He believes that the access teenagers have to social media means they don’t need cars to communicate with each other in person. There has also been a sharp rise in urban populations, where cars aren’t necessary because of strong public transportation.
While there are many different theories, it may be soon to say which one is true. It is at least very clear that teenagers have more options to communicate with each other than they have ever had before. Several teenagers who were interviewed said they were not interested in obtaining a drivers license because they had so many communication and entertainment options at home.
This new trend can be a little confusing for those who grew up before the digital age. Many adults remember how much it meant for them to have their licenses for first time. A drivers license was once the only way to have a social life outside of school, it also meant access to a jobs and a small degree of financial independence. Parents were often supportive as well, because it meant they had a new driver to handle errands.
The state of the economy undoubtedly has a major influence, because teenagers don’t have access to the jobs that they used to fill. Many minimum-wage and low-experience jobs are held by adults who were laid off from their old positions. Without the ability to get a job, most kids can’t get a car, and have fewer ways to utilize one.
While fewer teens have been driving, the ones that choose to seem to be taking it more seriously. Driver’s education programs have not seen a significant decline in enrollment. Many of the students who take those classes are still enthusiastic about being able to drive to school and work.
School licenses are actually the only type of license that is currently growing among teenagers. The applications for that type of license have actually more than doubled in the last 12 years. The school license is very limited, and only allows teens to drive between school and home.
If you are applying for a drivers permit or a license, you can make use of the practice permit test that we offer on the website. All practice tests are free and you can take them as many times as you wish. Make sure you do not miss out on them before you go ahead and take the knowledge exam at the DMV!