I was struck by an article in the LA Times on March 16 highlighting how our technology has impacted teen drivers: many aren’t getting their driver’s licenses by the time they turn 18. Twenty-seven years ago – 80.4% had licenses, and in 2010 only 60.7%! It’s staggering to witness the rapid change our country and our world are going through, thanks to the computer age. But in terms of teens getting their license – they’d rather spend money and time on smartphones and online networks to get their social needs met.
You choose, a car payment plus insurance, gas, and repairs versus putting out $100.00 to have all the contact you want from the comfort of your room. Now there are cool elements to this shift but it’s good-bye to the good old days.
The automobile industry is trying to catch up with the times and lure teens in. For instance, Ford has decided to subsidize rental rates for Zipcar, an hourly car-sharing service, figuring that when this younger generation finally gets around to buying a car, they’ll already be familiar with Fords and buy one then.
And something like 75% of people between 18 and 34 prefer to buy online rather that in an actual store. What will that mean for future generations when we have large amounts of people who are not very skilled at communicating face-to-face? How will they work out all the issues that are part of partnering up and raising a family?
When did you get your driver’s license? Do you have any good stories about the car adventures of your youth? Let me know.