By Deborah Zabarenko | Reuters – To Shoshana Gurian-Sherman, driving seemed like a huge hassle.
“Part of it was laziness,” the 23-year-old Minneapolis resident recalled. “I didn’t really want to put in the effort to learn how to drive … I knew how to ride the buses, so it was not necessary.
“And the other thing was, it was just scary, the idea of being in charge of a vehicle that potentially could kill me or other people,” Gurian-Sherman said.
She eventually got her license at 18, two years later than she could have, after her parents threatened not to pay for college if she did not learn to drive, a skill they considered to be important.
In her reluctance to drive or own a car, Gurian-Sherman is typical of a certain segment of Generation Y, the coveted marketing demographic encompassing the 80 million U.S. residents between the ages of 16 and 34.
Bigger than the post-World War Two baby-boom generation but without the middle-class expansion that drove the earlier group’s consumer habits, Generation Y includes an increasing number of people for whom driving is less an American rite of passage than an unnecessary chore.
“That moment of realizing that you’re a grown-up – for my generation, that was when you got your driver’s license or car,” said Tony Dudzik, a senior policy analyst of the Frontier Group, a California-based think tank that has studied this phenomenon. “For young people now, that moment comes when you get your first cellphone.” [Continue reading …]