Generation Next – pre-driver travel behaviour07 Nov 2014

Young teen travel

This paper was motivated by the sharp decrease since the 1990s in car use by young adults – the question investigated here is the extent to which similar trends have taken place among pre-driving age young people (ages 11 to 16).

With the exception of some 16-year-olds receiving disability benefit, pre-driving age young people by definition only [legally] travel in cars as passengers. In this study it was found that their car passenger travel has been increasing over time, and that this is quite different from the trend of decreasing car use by young adults of driving age. On the basis of this pattern it is argued (see pages 5-6) that the falling level of car use by young adults is likely not to have been caused by either shifting attitudes towards cars or their use of electronic communications (i.e. online activity) leading to less desire to travel. Drawing on observations of self-reported work-related travel, it was found that over time work-related activity has become much less prevalent among pre-driving age young people.