Teens Motivated to Get License to Rely Less on Parents, Study Finds

While recent research has found that the number of teen drivers is steadily declining, a new study by Aceable Driving examines why teens are motivated to learn how to drive in the first place, and why some adults are waiting to get their license.

In a survey of 291 teens ages 14-17 who were either taking or had recently completed drivers education, Aceable found that more than 50 percent were motivated to take the course so that they didn’t have to rely on their parents for rides anymore. A combined 34 percent cited driving to school or getting a job as their motivation. Less than 18 percent said their primary motivation was because their parents made them or to help with family driving. Additionally, when asked, “Who made the decision for you to take drivers ed?” only 11 percent of respondents said their parents decided for them.

Meanwhile, in a study of 301 adults ages 18 and older who were currently taking or had just finished a drivers ed program, about 30 percent said they waited to take the course several years after they were eligible because of lack of a car or inability to afford gas, insurance or the class itself.

Take a look the infographic and data below to find out more about why teens are motivated to get behind the wheel, and in some cases, what’s holding them back.

drivers-ed-study

What was your primary motivation for taking drivers ed? (Teens ages 14-17)

  • So I wouldn’t have to rely on my parents for rides — 52.7%
  • So I could drive to school — 20.8%
  • My parents wanted me to get a license and/or help with family driving — 17.6%
  • So I could get a job and make money — 13.3%
  • Other — 9%

*Total adds up to more than 100% because many respondents who wrote in answers for “Other” included explanations from one or more of the above categories.

Who made the decision for you to take drivers ed? (Teens ages 14-17)

  • Me — 37.8%
  • My parents and I decided together — 51.2%
  • My parents/guardians –11%

Why did you wait to take drivers ed several years after you were eligible? (Adults ages 18 and older)

  • Just didn’t get around to it — 34.9%
  • Did not have a car/Cost of driving was too expensive — 29.9%
  • Other — 18.6%
  • Parents wouldn’t let me — 10.6%
  • Could get around without it — 9.6%

*Total adds up to more than 100% because many respondents who wrote in answers for “Other” included explanations from one or more of the above categories.