Has America Lost its Passion for Driving?
Going back to the very inception of automobiles, America has had an infatuation with the car, arguably more so than any other country. But after decades of this on-ramp adoration, Americans seem to be ditching their wheels for alternative modes of transport. Studies show that US car ownership per household has declined nearly 10 percent over the last ten years, which suggests that the tightening economic conditions of the “Great Recession” might account for part of the picture but not the whole trend. These days, many teens and young adults simply avoid getting their licenses. Whether it’s a factor stemming from an increasingly connected digital world, better advancements in public transportation, or perhaps a disillusion with driving is not know however. The Huffington Post reports that less than 70 percent of 19-year-olds have licenses, which is down from 87 percent only 20 years ago. RELATED: See photos of the iconic American '64 Ford Fairlane
Public transportation continues to make a large comeback for working professionals, especially within larger cities. Statistics show that in 2013, a staggering 10.7 billion trips were taken on mass transit, which equates to a 37 percent increase since 1995. And with car-sharing apps and initiatives gaining popularity – such as RelayRides and Zipcar – getting around has become more of a social event.
The growing trend in alternative transportation has been especially apparent in driver’s education enrollment numbers, with states like Wisconsin suffering a 40 percent decline in participation.
While portions of Generation Y put the squeeze on the valuation of driving, it’s fairly safe to say that car culture is here to stay in America. There just might be a bit more autonomy on the horizon.
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[via The Huffington Post]