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The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

The Student News Site of West Boca Raton High School

The West Boca Bullseye

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To Drive or Not to Drive

Young+guy+in+a+red+shirt+who+appears+to+be+about+to+drive.+
Young guy in a red shirt who appears to be about to drive.

   Teenagers are not driving as much as they used to in comparison to earlier generations. According to data cited by USA Today, in 2018, 61% of eighteen year olds had a driver’s license. The percentage has gone down from 80% in 1983. The same article states that the number of sixteen year olds with a license has gone down to 25% from 46% in the same time period. According to The Hill, teenagers in the sixteen to nineteen age range that have drivers licenses has declined from 64% in 1995 to 40% in 2021. 

   The issue of not getting a driver’s license is not isolated to teenagers. The percentages of people in their twenties having a license has also declined. There are a number of potential reasons given to explain the decline. One being, the process of getting a license being extended. This is the result of graduated driver’s license laws. These laws added more requirements and a longer wait in order to get a license to attempt to decrease the accidents involving teenagers. An example of these requirements would be the alcohol and drug course needed to obtain a learner’s permit. 

   Some people are just in no hurry to get their licenses, and here are a couple of examples of that reasoning.  Alexandra Kimbrell from the our staff at The Bullseye stated “I’m not in a hurry to get it. I don’t go out much, so I don’t have many opportunities to drive.” She does not feel pressure to drive because she is not getting a car anytime soon. The editor of The Bullseye, Gabriella Zarubinsky, also gave her reason, “my friends have their licenses so they can take me places, and I need more practice before I get my license.” Both of these young women have their learner’s permit. 

   Gen Z is the generation that is said to be leading the way in terms of not getting a license. An explanation for this is the accessibility of Ubers, financial concerns, anxiety, and environmental concerns according to the Washington Post. There is also the belief that the opportunities provided online are another reason for Gen Z’s lack of urgency for getting a driver’s license. Environmental concerns seem to be a significant reason for the decline in driving, but Millennials started that trend. According to the Washington Post, Millennials continue to drive less than Gen X and Baby Boomers but they drive more than they used to. 

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About the Contributor
Emma Lawman
Emma Lawman, Reporter
My name is Emma Lawman and I am a Senior. This is my second year being a member of The Bullseye staff. I love writing and that is the main reason I joined The Bullseye last year. I don’t limit myself to just one topic of writing. In fact, I plan on covering politics, current events, and conservation. One of the careers I am considering is being an author, so being a reporter for the newspaper is also a way to improve my writing skills.
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