What’s This, Boise Teens Don’t Want to Drive Anymore?
Driving may be overrated. Fewer teens are getting driver's licenses these days, and we're wondering if Boise will follow the trend.
Did you get your driver's license the minute you were eligible? I couldn't wait! I might have wasted thirty seconds or so, but I was on it, and the first place I went when I got my license was to my friend Shar's house to pick her up for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Mountain Dew. And from that day on we drove around on sugar highs and talked about boys and looked at cornfields and cows and laughed a lot. There was nothing else to do in rural Nebraska but drive, and every kid did it the second they turned 16. I actually had a school permit at age 14, and so did Shar.
The Federal Highway Administration has been looking into the age most kids get their driver's licenses and said that in 2018 a little over 60 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, and that was down from 80% percent in 1983. They also said the number of 16-year-olds with licenses dropped during that time from 46% to 25%. So maybe driving isn't all it's cracked up to be.
But why not? Some teens want more environmentally friendly transportation options, some found driving too stressful, and some just don't care about cars, according to the Highway Administration. The prediction is that electric and hybrid cars will be a draw for teens in the future. Now, if only something can be done about the stressful part.
In Idaho, teens of course have to go through the GDL or graduated driver's license program, which doesn't make it a cinch to get a license. Teens under 17 go through four stages as they get behind the wheel:
Supervised instruction permit (SIP)/learner's permit.
Underage driver's license.
Full driver's license.
Teens can start the program at age 14 and 1/2.
Getting a license is one thing, and then there's the expense and extra responsibility that comes with getting a car. So, hmm. Maybe it's not a bad idea to keep that ride-share thing going for as long as possible.