Learning to drive was once a much-anticipated milestone in every teen's life. Now it seems that getting behind the wheel has lost some of its allure, and many young people are putting off earning their license indefinitely.
According to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, only 44 percent of teens get their license within 12 months of their eligibility. By the time these young people turn 18, only 54 percent are licensed drivers. These numbers are significantly lower than in the 1980s, when 46 percent of 16-year-olds and 87 percent of 19-year-olds were licensed, NBC News reports. A large portion of young people are pushing back their driving because they don't have a vehicle and believe it would be too expensive to own and operate one.
There are some safety concerns associated with teens waiting to drive. Those individuals over the age of 18 don't have to participate in the graduated license program most states have implemented, which requires teens to work up to independent driving with permits and regulations.
"With one in three adults waiting to get their license until they turn 18, there's a segment of this generation missing opportunities to learn under the safeguards that GDL provides," said Peter Kissinger, the president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "For most, it's about not having a car or having alternatives for getting around that are the top reasons cited for delaying what has traditionally been considered to be a rite of passage."
Young drivers who are ready to make the leap to the roads but want to invest in an affordable car should head to places like NJ State Auto Auction. The auction lot boasts plenty of CARFAX-certified models, ranging from sedans to trucks. Many of the options are low cost and high quality, allowing drivers to get some bang for their buck.