+

gen z

Family

Gen Z is strangely averse to getting their driver's license. What the heck is going on?

Compared to earlier generations, today's teens are in no rush to drive and parents are scratching their heads.

Photo by Fabian Albert on Unsplash

Many teens and young adults are in no hurry to hop behind the wheel.

I and pretty much every Gen X teen I grew up with couldn't wait to learn to drive. Getting a driver's license was a huge milestone that meant freedom, independence, the ability to go to our friends' houses whenever we wanted to (so long as we had access to a car) and more—and we were totally psyched about it.

Today's teens are … different. While some are just as eager as we were to get behind the wheel, there's a whole bunch of young folks who have little to no interest in driving. As USA Today reported last year, "Data collected from the Federal Highway Administration and analyzed by Green Car Congress showed that in 2018 approximately 61% of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, down from 80% percent in 1983. The number of 16-year-olds with licenses decreased from 46% to 25% in the same period."

My oldest kid was interested, but took her sweet time and didn't get her license until she was 18. My current 18-year-old still doesn't have her license and has zero desire to get it, despite having completed driver's ed. She just takes the bus and walks everywhere. Other parents in my immediate social circle have similarly disinterested-in-driving young adults, and I keep seeing parents posting about it on social media with a sense of bewilderment.

Keep Reading Show less