What's Youth Got to Do with It? Exploring the Travel Behavior of Teens and Young Adults
Todayâ€™s teens are members of the first generation to have never known a world without instantaneous and nearly ubiquitous mobile phone access. They also must surmount greater hurdles to driverâ€™s licensing than any previous generation faced. And they are struggling to transition into the most unwelcoming job market since the Great Depression. These tectonic happenings surely augur equally dramatic changes in the travel choices and patterns of young adults in the years ahead. Or will they? This report examines this question.Â While scholars have studied the travel choices and patterns of adults extensively over the years, our knowledge of youth travel behavior is surprisingly limited and uneven. There is a growing body of research on how children travel to school and a second body of research on youth and travel safety, in particular, the high rates of crashes and driving fatalities among teenagers. Beyond these two rather focused lines of inquiry, however, studies of travel by children, teens, and young adults are rare.Â Researchers have posited several factors to explain differences in the travel behavior of youth and adults, and to support the argument that such differences may persist as todayâ€™s youth move into adulthood. First, the rapid profusion and adoption of new communication technologies influences how people use their time and may affect how much they travel (Kwan, 2002), and young people tend to be early and frequent adopters of these technologies (Mans et al., forthcoming; Lenhart et al., 2005; Pew Research Center, 2010b). Second, all 50 states have now adopted graduated driverâ€™s licensing programs, making teen licensing more difficult and restrictive (with respect to time, trip purpose, and passengers) than in previous eras (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2012). Third, unemployment rates during the current recession are highest for youth, thereby reducing journey-to-work and work-related travel and limiting the resources teens and young adults have to pay for non-work activities (and associated travel) of all types. This prolonged economic downturn may also influence youth travel patterns indirectly; fragmentary evidence suggests that young adults struggling to find work increasingly â€œboomerangâ€ back home to live with parents (Kaplan, 2009; Pew Research Center, 2010b; Wiemers, 2011), drawn by a free or steeply discounted bedroom, groceries, and, perhaps, access to parentsâ€™ cars.
|Date of creation:||01 Sep 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 109 McLaughlin Hall, Mail Code 1720, Berkeley, CA 94720-1720|
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/uctc/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt9c14p6d5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.