According to a report from U.S. Pirg, Americans are driving less, reversing the trend that saw car travel grow every year over the past six decades. The major force behind the reversal is young people and millennials, many of whom are feeling the effects of the recession and looking for ways to save money. As a result, members of this generation are less likely to drive or even have a license.
Many young people live in cities where they can use public transportation to get around or simply prefer to get by without vehicles to cut down on expenses. Access to the internet may also affect it, as the ability to communicate with people remotely eliminates the need for face-to-face contact, The New York Times reports.
As they turn away from cars, it may be time for some automakers and policymakers to revamp the transportation system to make automobiles more accessible. This may include making prices and financing more affordable, streamlining auto repair for easier maintenance or decreasing gas prices.
"The time has come for America to hit the reset button on transportation policy - replacing the policy infrastructure of the Driving Boom year with a more efficient, flexible and nimble system that is better able to meet the transportation needs of the 21st century," the report states.