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Teen dating studies

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You just talk on Facebook or Instagram."Cade says gasoline costs and "the fact that insurance is very high" for young drivers made it easier for her to wait.

I have a friend that I saw (recently) at the mall, but I hadn't talked to him in person in weeks.That myth about the call of the open road, everybody knows that's false. You're going to be stuck in traffic."But Foss, who has been researching teen driving safety for 20 years, says the federal database that many researchers rely on to document the decline in driver licensing is faulty.The database is maintained by the Federal Highway Administration."There's a systematic bias in there that leads them to count fewer and fewer teens as actually licensed." he says.In some cases, state-reported data don't count 16-year-olds with provisional licenses as being licensed; in other cases, they do, he says.It represented freedom, independence, the first big step into adulthood and a response to the call of the open road.

The perception was that kids who didn't have a license at 16 either were really bad drivers or really, really uncool. Today, many teenagers are deciding to wait to get their driver's licenses, a shift documented in several recent studies.

She has not seen the same urgency among Chantelle's friends."For us, it was the only way do see your friends, if you didn't want to be kind of square and have your parents drop you off," she says. I remember her saying, 'I'm not in a big hurry.' I was so relieved."Nancy Mc Guckin, a travel behavior analyst, says Cade and her friends represent the new normal."There's been unprecedented change in young people's behavior. Modern automobiles are so computerized, it's much harder to tinker with them and do self-repairs."Young people, especially, think of the car as a tool to get from point A to point B," Mc Guckin says.

There's sort of a lack of interest (in driving)," she says. "They were raised in the back seat, stuck in traffic.

MOM SAYS WAITEmily Mc Nulty, 19, of Sterling, Va., just got her driver's license.

Her mom, Julianne Mc Nulty, 57, had asked her to put it off."I just felt like she needed to wait a little bit for the amount of traffic on the roads around here," says Julianne Mc Nulty, who works in the marketing department of a trade association. Another factor was the cost of car insurance and gas."Emily was almost 18 when she started driving.

What's less clear is whether the decline is a fundamental change in how young Americans get from point A to point B and the end of an entrenched national tradition, or whether it's primarily a reaction to the Great Recession.