Teens Care Less About Driver's Licenses These Days

Remember running off to the DMV when you turned 16 to get your driver's license and-finally-your independence? That's not the rite of passage it once was. More teens are waiting longer to start driving. The chart above shows the declining number of 16-year old drivers in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.From The Washington Post:
Federal data released Friday underscore a striking national shift: 30.7 percent of 16-year-olds got their licenses in 2008, compared with 44.7 percent in 1988. The difference is even sharper in Virginia and Maryland, state figures show. Numbers from the District, which go back to 2003, show a decline in the past two years.
What explains this trend? Apparently, it's a combination of teens just being busier and not having the time, stricter learner's permit requirements, and the internet providing a way for kids to socialize that doesn't require them being in the same physical place.It'd be great to see if there's a corresponding increase in 16-year olds using alternate modes of transportation. That might give us some insight into whether kids are just getting ferried around by their parents for longer or whether they're actually developing different transportation habits that they'll retain in their adult years.