Saturday, April 07, 2012

Youths theeze days! - the Emperor's New Clothes

The San Francisco Chronicle has an interesting article on a report from CalPIRG on the trend that young adults are passing on that rite of passage known as getting your drivers license. This is pretty significant because it to me signals a change in the definition of independence. Teens couldn't wait to get their drivers license but according to the article, teens prefer getting chauffeured by their parents or horrors taking the bus.

Could this be a case of the "Emperor's New Clothes". For years advertisers and car manufacturers have espoused the joys and status that having a car confers, but today's kids see the madness of traffic, accidents and hassle that cars entail and see that so much of the purported benefits are overblown and seeing it for what it is.

Some interesting stats are:

The CalPIRG report pulls together data, much of it from the Federal Highway Administration, to illustrate the trend.

-- From 2001 through 2009, the average number of miles driven each year by people ages 16 to 34 fell 23 percent on a per capita basis.

-- During that period, people in the same age range increased the number of miles they rode on mass transit by 40 percent.

-- The portion of people ages 14 to 34 without a driver's license increased five percentage points between 2000 and 2010, from 21 percent to 26 percent.

Maybe they just realize, cars are great but too many not so great.


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