Vehicular driving is down across the board actually, probably due to gas prices and the economy.  But teen driving is way down.  Why?  Probably some of the same reasons, but also because they don’t need to drive.  They have the Internet.

I should rejoice the drop in driving for many reasons, but the reasoning is kind of depressing.

But the impact of the internet is big too. “It is possible that the availability of virtual contact through electronic means reduces the need for actual contact among young people,” says Michael Sivak, research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and coauthor of the study on driver’s licenses. “Furthermore, some young people feel that driving interferes with texting and other electronic communication.”

And we’ve learned that tragically as in this case, and this one closer to home.