The Financial Times cite some interesting statistics about the rise in the number of teenagers and young adults who are not getting their driver’s licenses. While a number of explanatory factors are cited such as economic conditions, not needing cars as much because of social media, and young adults rejecting direct advertising from car makers, I’m more interested in another issue: what does this say about driving as a rite of passage as part of the transition from being a teenager to becoming an adult? This is well ingrained in American culture and lore but if fewer young adults see it as worthwhile, it could practically wipe the genre of cliched high school movies by itself. Forget about emerging adults delaying marriage; some don’t even want to be able to drive!
There is no mention of this in the article but I would be interested to know the spatial distribution of 16-34 year olds in the United States. It is much easier to go without a car in a denser, more urban setting. Does this mean that compared to the general population, a higher percentage of this age group lives in such denser settings?