Study finds fewer teen drivers on road - WKRN News 2

Study finds fewer teen drivers on road

Posted: Updated: July 23, 2012 10:13 PM

A recent study from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute found fewer teens are getting driver's license.

In Tennessee, Department of Transportation numbers show that driver's licenses for 17 to 19-year-olds are flat from 2000 to 2011.

However in Davidson County, the number of teen drivers is down.

In 2000 Davidson County had 51,262 teens with a driver's license, but by 2011 that number dropped to 48,985.

According to the University of Michigan's study, there are two main reasons for the decrease.

One is the Internet. The study says teens have more access to entertainment and friends through virtual means.

Another reason they site for the decline is the economy. Fewer jobs means teens cannot afford to purchase or maintain a vehicle.

As the economy rebounds, car makers are looking to attract more teen drivers.

Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler all have vehicle aimed toward teens.
Chrysler has the Dodge Dart, Ford has the Fiesta and Chevy the Sonic.

"Price point has never been lower when it comes to these new cars," Zach Lyons of Lyons GM in Lewisburg said.

The compact cars not only have high safety ratings, and a low price point, but they come stocked with the latest in technological gadgets.

"Parents are more safety conscious when it comes to buying [a car] for their kids and kids are more, 'What's cool about this car?'" explained Lyons.

A new crop of compacts priced as low as $12,000 are rolling on to lots.  

The hope is that low price and all the gadgets you can imagine will bring teen consumers to the car lot.

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