Nice article, Forbes (emphasis added by me).
And new research by the Transportation Research Institute of the University of Michigan found an inversely proportional relationship among Generation Y members between internet usage and rates of driver licensure, in the United States and several other western economies. “Countries with higher proportions of internet users were associated with lower licensure rates among young persons, which is consistent with the hypothesis that access to virtual contact through electronic means reduces the need for actual contact among young people,” wrote study authors Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle in the journal Traffic Inquiry Prevention.
Most of the people I know without a car still find a way to make “actual contact” with other people. They catch a ride. They walk. They ride public transportation. They bike.
Sure, they might be using their smart phones to connect and make plans. And plenty of my friends see internet as this most basic utility. But the fact that they don’t own a vehicle isn’t forcing them to stay home and socialize on the internet in leiu of making “acutal contact” with people. In fact, I know at least one person who sold their car so that they’d have more money for going out (and who needs or wants a car for that, anyway?).