Study finds drop in drivers on the road

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) New research found fewer people are getting behind the wheel in Colorado and teenagers may be behind the trend.

"The baby boomer generation, which did a lot of driving, are moving out of the phase of their life when they're doing the most commuting," said Lisa Ritland, of the Colorado Public Research Group. "So young people who are prone to more non-driving forms of transportation are moving into that phase of their life."

Colorado Public Research Group found the amount of drivers in the state dropped by 11.4% since 2005, the sixth biggest decline in the country.

Ritland said smart phones are giving teenagers the sense of freedom cars used to provide.

"Young people today are definitely more likely to choose being connected with their friends using social networks like Facebook as opposed to driving to someone's house to hang out.," she said.

But the majority of students questioned about the topic at Grand Junction High School said they still plan to learn to drive.

"You can explore, you can kind of go around your neighborhood or go around your state and explore," said Skyler Whisenant, a freshman. "Other than that phone which you can see things on it like with the internet and stuff but you can never really experience and feel things."

The study also found access to public transportation and bike routes in urban areas as well as the nice weather in Colorado contributed to the trend away from driving.

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