VOL.2

Why Are Teens Driving Less & Less? Technology.

If you gaze into a magic crystal ball, you will see that technology is driving down the number of young drivers on the road. The U.S. PIRG recently published a report detailing how the enhancement and widespread diffusion of technology has led to a decrease in car usage, particularly among younger generations. From 2001 to 2009, driving among individuals age 16 to 34 decreased by 23 percent. The relationship between diminished driving and the rise in technology cannot be ignored. Access to broadband speed internet, along with increased mobile phone subscription, specifically smartphones, has enabled a large group of people to get from point A to point B, and beyond without owning a car. What could result, should this trend continue, is a more efficient, environmentally-friendly transportation dynamic, one where both congestion and pollution are significantly curtailed.

What is rare, but almost inarguably positive about these developments is that there is seemingly no tradeoff; the relationship between improving technology and less driving yields only benefits. What some might find appealing about this is that it can please both motorists and commuters, with motorists dealing with fewer cars on the road, and commuters finding it easier to get around without owning a car. In addition, this enhancement of technology, long seen as a culprit in pollution, has ironically influenced young adults to drive less. If this trend continues, future generations may adopt it in larger and larger numbers. There are many people who share this sentiment, and the decrease in car usage will likely be a boon for climate change awareness. And for those that bemoan traffic congestion, they can perhaps look forward to contending with fewer cars on the road.