The Top Reason California Teens Are Getting Their Driver's Licenses

You may have heard that teens are putting off getting their driver’s licenses these days. It’s true! An Aceable study found that 42% of California teens surveyed delayed getting their license because of driving anxiety.

But while the pandemic closures and anxiety on the road are affecting teen driving rates, there are still a ton of teens excited to drive. What’s motivating them to go to the trouble of getting a license? Well, we asked and here’s what we found.

Getting a Job

The biggest reason teens gave for wanting a license was the ability to get a job. 60% of those surveyed cited work as their motivating factor for getting behind the wheel. In California, few people live in areas with easy-to-use public transportation, so if you want to make sure you show up to work on time, you’re probably going to need to drive.

Hanging Out With Friends

The number two reason on the list for those surveyed was hanging out with friends. The freedom to socialize without relying on a parent to cart you around or paying big bucks for an Uber was enough for 48% of our survey respondents to make the time to get licensed. 

Anyone who has been a teen knows that parents are way more likely to say yes to your proposed plans if they don’t have to disrupt their schedules to get you there. 

School and Extracurriculars

The third and fourth biggest reason teens wanted to get licensed were school (44%) and extracurriculars (42%). Let’s be honest, the school bus loses much of its appeal by the time you’re in high school, and parents get tired of chauffeuring their kids to all-day athletic events or dance competitions. 

Other Reasons

The final reasons teens gave for wanting a license were:

  • Family responsibilities (42%)

  • Keeping up with peers (37%)

  • Pursuing hobbies or interests (29%)

Almost all of these reasons fall under the broader category of wanting a little more freedom. Developmentally, the teen years are when people start to differentiate themselves from their families of origin and become their own people. The ability to hang with friends, do activities, work, and enjoy hobbies without relying on a parent for transportation is a small step toward the independence they’ll have when they become adults in a few short years. 

Giving teens the space to experiment with adulthood and decision-making in a safe and controlled environment is an ideal way to help them become responsible people and confident decision-makers. 

Getting Licensed

All that said, a lot of teens have trouble getting a license because it’s tough to make time in their schedules for it. Especially teens with jobs, lots of extracurriculars, and family responsibilities (you know, like all the reasons teens gave for wanting a license in the first place?).

Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than some parents might remember to get licensed. Aceable’s driver’s ed app lets teens take driver’s ed on their own schedules, fitting in learning around their other commitments.

We use proven learning strategies and fun, interactive lessons to ensure our future Aceable drivers are learning everything they need to know to be safe, defensive drivers. 

After all, teens aren’t the only ones who are anxious about new drivers: parents worry just as much or more about their teens’ safety behind the wheel. That’s why Aceable’s courses aren’t designed just to help people pass the licensing exam. We take pride in educating the best drivers on the road.

Got a teen ready to get started? Find your California driver’s ed course today!

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