Interesting Study On Cars

So Bob sent me an interesting study in a previous post:

Over the last decade – after 60-plus years of steady increases – the number of miles driven by the average American has been falling. Young Americans have experienced the greatest changes: driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, not a necessity.

…Millennials (those born between 1983 and 2000) are the nation’s largest generation, making their transportation needs particularly important. They have the most to gain or lose from the transportation investment decisions we make today, as they will be affected by those investments for decades to come. If Millennials drive fewer miles than previous generations as they age – and if future generations of young people follow suit – America will have an opportunity to reap the benefits of slower growth in driving. These include reduced traffic congestion, fewer deaths and injuries on the roads, reduced expenditures for highway construction and repair, and less pollution of our air and climate.

This makes a lot of sense! First up, I live in the internet age. Many of my closest friends live near me, and I see in person frequently. Still many of my best friends live far away from me. Take my compatriots on The Squirrel Report, Jay used to live locally, but I met him online, Breda and Alan live in Ohio and Texas, and I was friends with them for years before I finally met them…yet they were indeed friends. I have several people I consider good friends who I have NEVER met in person, thanks to the internet.

Then comes cultural things. The wife and I had our honeymoon in Burmuda. It’s a damn tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic. I got to asking the locals if they found being in stuck in such a small area an issue. To my surprise many said they not only were they not bothered by being confined to such a small island, but that they rarely left their part of the island. A similar story was at a friend’s wedding. There was a rather magnanimous dude in a full dress kilt in the wedding party. As you might expect he was from Scotland. He was a talkative chap and we talked about a number of things, but the interesting story that goes with this post is his comment on drunk driving in America. See in the UK most people live and work in the same town, and at the end of the day they go to the corner pub. At last call, drunk as they may be, they simply walk home as they live right there.

Now fast forward to this weekend, of course I was snowed in at my parents place in Maine, still I was reading articles in a local magazine about the fancy restaurants in town. My home town has become quite the foodie place, and I’ve enjoyed the crap out of that when I’m home for the Holidays. Still it’s not like Maine is any different than anyplace else. My town in Mass is full of great eating establishments, and I assume that most places are the same.

All of this translates to less travel. My cousin in the very Northern part of Maine would talk about driving late at night down to Bangor, which is over 100 miles from where he lives to get food. Those days are over. Now you can find any dining you want just up the street. Why drive and burn time and gasoline when you can just walk up the street?

All of this translates to less time on the road, and less of the bad things that happen on the road.

But remember, guns are the problem…because we can’t look at facts that don’t fit the narrative!

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4 Responses to Interesting Study On Cars

  1. Bob S. says:

    When I was a teenager, back in the pre-historic days of the 70s/80s, we couldn’t wait to get our driver’s licenses.
    Want to talk to a friend; parents had a limit on the land line. Yeah, most of us just had one line we had to share with everyone. Now days, just about ever family member has their own phone. And in some homes still a land line.

    Want to know what people are up to? Either go to their house, a friends house or some public venue to discuss it. Was no Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc

    My kids grew up in a completely different environment and still it was evolving. 10 years ago, my oldest got her license at 16 because “Xanga” or “MySpace” wasn’t social enough for her — that and she wanted to buy her own clothing.
    My middle child didn’t get his license until 6 months into his enlistment in the Marine Corp. He was nearly 19. Before that, social media filled in mostly. He had some friend who drove and would shuttle him around. The Youngest Child got his license just before he turned 18 but rarely drove.

    I personally don’t like to talk on the phone, hate texting with a passion and got onto social media just to keep up with friends.

    Now contrast the results of that study with firearms and see if fewer people are shooting, carrying and keeping firearms. (Here’s an ancedote; our gun club has grown from 1,850 members to nearly 2,600 — with a sizeable percentage of them new shooters — in just 7 years)

  2. Archer says:

    Also note that with less driving comes less “car death”, an effect compounded by younger, less experienced drivers driving less, leaving the older, more experienced drivers on the road.

    Contrast that with gun ownership rates on the rise, combined with the number of guns sold continually breaking records, CCW license numbers going through the roof, and “Gun Culture 2.0” being a relatively young crowd, and the worst thing – the absolute worst thing – they can say is that “Gun Death!” rates will remain static?

    How’s THAT for “Settled Science”! 🙂

  3. P Karpouzas says:

    It’s funny how it goes. Young and can’t wait to get your licenses. 50 years later, you just can’t wait to get off the roads. I’m sick of driving. I don’t even want to drive my performance cars anymore. The fun of driving has been taken away by law regardless of the vehicles we drive. Id rather catch a bus these days

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