Getting a driver’s license used to be a rite of passage. Now, the trend seems to be shifting. Studies suggest that Millennials are not as enthusiastic about owning a car as compared to the previous generation. In a report released by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Institute, it revealed a decline on driving among 20 to 24-year-olds. In 1983, 91.8% from this age range had driver’s license. However, in 2014, that number dropped to 76.7%.
Likely factors Millennials drive less
In a study conducted by the U.S. PIRG, it was found that young drivers in 2009 took 15% fewer trips than young drivers in 2001. The average trip length was also reduced to 9.5 miles in 2009 from the 10.1 miles in 2001. There could be several reasons Millennials drive less. Here are a few of the factors cited across studies and reports:
- Emergence of ride-sharing apps. When the destination is distant, young adults consider using ride-sharing apps for convenience. Car manufacturers, meanwhile, say they haven’t noticed any direct impact to their sales with the existence of ride-sharing apps, yet.
- Cycling and commuting to destination is easy. With the traffic and fuel costs, many prefer to ditch driving for pedaling. Kentucky is considered a bike-friendly community, with thousands of Kentuckians biking their way to their destinations. In 2012, Louisville ranked 21 and Lexington received honorable mention in Bicycling Magazine’s Top 50 list.
- Vehicles becoming less affordable for students. Another theory for the decline in the number of young adult drivers is that students can’t afford the price of owning a vehicle. They prefer other more affordable alternatives.
- Meetups can be done online. Since meetups can be done virtually, with the help of social networking sites, personal meetings are no longer deemed necessary. Plus, online meetups cost less and require less time.
Overall, it’s the change in behavior and priorities that are cited as likely factors why Millennials are less-dependent to cars than previous generations.
As a Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney, I see nothing wrong with opting to get from one place to another by other means aside from driving. You can choose whether to travel on foot, cycle or commute to your destination. Either way, remember that road safety practices are still important. Drivers aren’t the only ones occupying roads. Everyone uses the road in some way, including pedestrians, so please always stay safe.