Delay or forgo? A closer look at youth driver licensing trends in the United States and Australia

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36 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years a rapidly-expanding body of literature has attempted to understand reductions in the rate of driver licensing among young adults in developed countries. An unanswered question emerging from this literature has been whether young adults are truly turning their back on the car, or simply delaying the inevitable transition to a car-dependent lifestyle. This viewpoint paper will present some of the only evidence available that directly addresses this crucial question and discuss the implications of forgoing versus delaying car licensing. This discussion is couched within the theoretical framework of socio-technical transition research. Changes in youth driver licensing are putting pressure on the prevailing socio-technical regime of car dominance, providing a window of opportunity for niche innovations to destabilise and reform this regime. However, this trend must be supported by policy and planning if it is to continue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-926
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Car licensing
  • Generation Y
  • Millennials
  • Socio-technical transitions
  • Young adults

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