Teens put the brakes on driving

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- In this pedal to the metal, full throttle, burn rubber culture -- some teenagers are hitting the brakes when it comes to getting their driver's license.

Since I didn't really have anywhere to go in the first place, I thought that it would be kind of pointless to go, said Steve Allison

At 18-years-old, Steven is only now learning to drive. He has his permit and after two more lessons, he can attempt to get his license.

In South Carolina, teens can get their permit at age 15.

Driving instructor Bob Montondo says it TMs becoming rare to teach drivers that young.

Definitely seeing more at the age of 16, obviously more at the age of 17 and a few at the age of 18 and 19, said Montondo of A-1 Driver Training.

According to federal data released earlier this year, 31 percent of 16-year-olds got their licenses in 2008, compared with 45 percent in 1988.

A generation consumed by technology finding they no longer need to climb into a car to connect with friends.

"Down the road it can really present a hardship once they are 20, 21, 22-years-old and they never learned to drive, said Rhea Merck.

Merck is a psychologist at USC and she suggests that some teens may be a hesitant to hit the gas for fear of failing, while others are comfortable having their parents shuttle them around.

"Most parents are ready for their children to drive because they are tired of driving them, says Merck, if they make it a little more inconivient sometimes that is the only motivator necessary.

As for Steven, his motivator is starting college.

First plan would be to drive to Midlands Tech and back so that I can get my route down, said Steven.