Fewer teens in the state of Michigan are seeking their driver TMs license at the age of 16.
The Michigan Department of State provided 7&4 News with the following numbers:
Number of licensed drivers (Age 16):
2012: 228,454 2011: 232,312 2010: 237,735 2009: 240,696 2008: 245,819
Michael Sivak, Ph.D., with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, found the same trend can be found nationwide.
His study looked at licensed drivers as a percentage of their age-group population.
Sivak found, from 1983 to 2010, the percentage of 16 year olds with a license dropped from approximately 48 percent to 28 percent.
For drivers age 17, the percentage dropped from approximately 68 percent to 48 percent.
Psychologist Anne Marie Love, Ph.D. worries about the impact that social isolation can have on teens.
Teens are particularly prone to anxiety and depression anyway, and social isolation is one of the greatest things that leads to anxiety and depression....so somebody who is skyping, texting, instead of face to face contact is going to feel like they have a social life, but it TMs almost artificial, Love said.
You can see more of Dr. Love TMs interview on our Youtube channel.
According to Dr. Sivak, The observed decrease in driver licensing is consistent with the continued increase in Internet usage: In Sivak and Schoettle (2011) we found that the percentage of young drivers was inversely related to the availability of the Internet. Consequently, we postulated that virtual contact (through electronic means) reduces the need for actual contact.