Fewer teens are getting their driver's licenses than ever before. Instead of getting a driver’s license to drive themselves home, many teenagers are waiting until 18 years old to get a license. Many are saving money using either ride-hailing apps or public transportation such as buses and trains. Apps such as Uber and Lyft give anyone the capability to be picked up and dropped off whenever and wherever they want. Also, the driving restriction laws put in place for drivers under the age of 18 make getting a license before the age of 18 quite a hassle. These are a few of the reasons why many teens are not acquiring their license.
A common misconception is that owning a car is cheaper than using a ride-hailing app. The idea of paying everyday for a ride home by an Uber or Lyft driver at first glance can seem to be expensive, but in reality, ride-hailing is often cheaper after the total cost. Factors such as maintenance, gas, insurance, registration, or smog and tickets can add up to a large amount of money per month. The only cost of ride-hailing apps is the charge for the ride. Car owners are beginning to feel that the cost of owning a car outweighs the cost of an app.
For the first year of owning a license, an underage driver must have a licensed driver over the age of 25 in the car with them if they are driving after 11 p.m., or if there are other passengers in the car under the age of 20. These restrictions limit teenagers’ ability to legally drive friends alone in the first year of having a license and late at night. Because of these regulations, teenage car accidents have been on a decline. However, the multitude of regulations also frustrate underage drivers, leading them to work toward their drivers’ licenses only after they have reached age 20.