Teenagers talking about speeding these days are more likely to be referring to their phone and Internet connections than cars.
The more time young people spend connecting through texting, email, Facebook and other social media sites, the less interest they have in driving, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
“We found that the percentage of young drivers was inversely related to the proportion of Internet users. Virtual contact, through electronic means, reduces the need for actual contact,” said Michael Sivak, a professor at the institute.
In 1983, a time before smartphones and when teens hung out at the mall, 69% of 17-year-olds had a driver’s license. But just 46% of that age group had a license in 2010. Driver’s license rates for 18- and 19-year-olds also have plunged over the same time period.the original article from Los Angeles Times, written by Jerry Hirsch