In ancient 2015, I wrote about the substantial declines in the percentage of young individuals with a driving permit. But at the moment, important questions remained unanswered. Are youthful adults forgoing automobiles complete. Or were they just delaying a couple of years until they jumped behind the wheel.
What we find when we consider individual cohorts over time is that at the time individuals reach their mid-20s they’re nearly as likely to have a license today as their counterparts had been ten decades back.
A Wait To Be Invited
A whole lot of study was undertaken to understand the reason why this delay is happening. Many factors are in play, but one seems to be the most powerful driver of this trend a delay at driver licensing a part of a wider delay in grownup landmarks among young adults.
Several decades ago, somebody within their mid-20s would probably be many years from education, well into fulltime job and had a fantastic prospect of becoming married, mortgaged and having started a family. Nowadays it appears unthinkable for most young people to reach these landmarks till their late 20s and in their 30s.
All these flaws mean young men and women are not as inclined to require a vehicle, or have a steady income to cover you, until later in life.
Some could respond to these findings using an awareness of passive fatalism. What’s the purpose of catering to the transportation demands of millennials if they will become as car-dependent as preceding generations the moment they begin a family and buy a home.
But, there are still many significant reasons why transportation planners and policymakers should support and encourage that this delay in automobile dependence.
First, even though modifications in millennial travel routines are just a delay, this delay could have significant positive benefits for society.
Every year that somebody doesn’t drive is just another year with fewer emissions, less congestion and fewer road deaths especially as young motorists are greatly over-represented in road deaths and accidents.
Next, the more that somebody lives with no vehicle the longer they must construct the skills and familiarity with alternate traveling. These abilities and attitudes might have follow-on consequences later in life.
It could create millennials more receptive to using public transportation or active modes for occasional excursions, or even to reconsidering their journey after significant life events like changing jobs, moving house or retiring.
Ultimately, obtaining a driving license is but 1 part of traveling and freedom. Other research indicates that among licence-holders young adults have been driving less and with different styles over preceding generations.
Window Of Chance For Policymakers
Policymakers should do whatever they can to promote sustainable travel among young adults having an eye on encouraging the transition to home ownership and parenthood.
Are authorities providing public transportation, walking and biking infrastructure in which young Australians are beginning families? Are they supplying affordable family home in the available locations where lots of young adults need to live.
So long as the response is no, an ongoing struggle will last to be fought against the pressures of car-oriented transportation and land usage. It’s a much simpler task to support and promote sustainable travel habits than it is to convince people to produce long-entrenched vehicle dependence.