The Millennial Influence

Much is made of the millennial generation’s lifestyle choices, from how they use technology to the places they live. We have already written about the experts parsing millennial driving habits and the growing evidence that youngsters these days don’t approach a relationship with vehicles the way previous generations did.

So this time Let’s Go News decided to see what their parents are thinking, those who as teens of the 1950s through the 1990s took it for granted that they would get a license and hopefully a car. What do they think of their teens and 20-somethings who aren’t rushing into getting their drivers licenses?

Screen shot 2016-04-20 at 12.17.54 PMHere’s what some parents of teens who we reached out to on this subject say:

Ski Taylor’s son Jack is almost 17, and while he has signed up a driver’s ed class, he’s been using other mobility options to get around.

“We live in a city with a pretty good transit system, which he utilizes to get to his internship and to college. His college also sponsors his transit pass each semester he is enrolled, which is awesome. We live a few easy miles from his high school, so he rides his bike, and he bikes for his own errands and drum lessons on the weekends, etc. Almost all of his friends ride their bikes as well, so when they want to hang out, that’s how they get where they are going. Their school is right downtown, so they also often walk to the movies, museums, coffee shops, or what-have-you after school… he just doesn’t have a lot of spare time for driver’s ed, nor is it a top priority for him since he’s happy in transit/bike land.”

Anne Geddes Bunce says of her oldest daughter:

“My 17-year-old Caroline has completed driver’s ed but has no desire to get her license or to drive at all. This appears to be common amongst the Class of 2017 at McCallum High School. She is a student of the Mac Fine Arts Academy, and since we live very far north it is a significant drive to and from the school every day on MoPac under construction, and I think the long drive and hectic traffic is a big part of her hesitance.”

Austin writer Neal Pollack wrote for Yahoo that for safety and cost reasons, his son won’t be getting a car when he turns 16. Instead, Pollack and his wife plan to take half of what they’d spend monthly for their son to own a car and put it toward ridesharing and transit.

“I don’t want to throw him into a deep end populated by a million 5,000-pound mechanical sharks powered by exhausted and distracted people, his surroundings entrusted to the Texas Department Of Transportation,” Pollack writes. “I’ve seen what’s out there: The roads are constantly clogged with people doing dangerous and stupid things. Traffic fatalities have risen dramatically (as they have over most of the country) so much that the Austin police can’t figure out the cause. We have a problem where people are throwing rocks off the overpasses on the Interstate. Accidents are more than common in this hell. They’re expected.”

Maybe these “crazy” youngsters, and their parents, are on to something.

photo via Flickr

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