Cars no longer as cool?

New research indicates drop in use of automobiles

The automobile may have seen its glory days in the United States, new research from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute indicates.

Key indicators such as driver’s-license registration, public-transit ridership and vehicle use point to a decline in driving, according to an article at, citing a recent paper by research professor Michael Sivak, “Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked?”

Some of the decline is apparently the result of the recession that started in 2008, but “several important indicators began to decline earlier and may not have been reversed by an improving economy,” the article said. In addition to the effect of economics and environmental issues on the use of cars, Sivak noted that “societal changes that influence the need for vehicles” may also be responsible, especially when it comes to young people.

“Young people are getting driver’s licenses later or not at all,” and many commute to work by bike, bus or train, or simply telecommute, the article noted.