Why are so many students choosing to learn driving instead of studying?
In recent years, the demand for new drivers has been growing, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
In 2015, just over one-quarter of all people who applied for the most popular driving licence in Canada were already driving, the report said.
As a result, many people are going to college or university to learn how to drive, said IHS senior research associate Kevin Raskulinecz.
“And that’s where a lot of these kids will be coming from,” he said.
A survey released last month by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation found that more than half of high school and university students who have taken driving courses since 2007 have gone on to obtain a licence, compared with only about a quarter who didn’t.
At the same time, the number of people in the United States who say they’re going to pursue a career in the industry has nearly doubled since the last survey in 2015, IIHS said.
The number of new driving licenses issued in the U.S. this year is expected to be higher than any year in the past decade, and more than double the number in 2015.
IHS said the rise in demand for driving licences and driving skills in the recent years is due to a number of factors, including more people choosing to pursue their interests in the field.
“In a lot to do with the increase in drivers, and a lot more people wanting to drive and having more access to that kind of knowledge, that has led to an increase in the demand,” Raskurinecz said.
“The demand has been higher than anticipated, and we see that trend continue to increase as more and more drivers come to the market.”
While some people are choosing to study at university to get a degree in a field they’re interested in, a majority of the people who are graduating from college this year will not be doing so for the first time, according the IIHS.
The study said the majority of those people will be taking a gap year between their degrees, and will continue to attend college until they have completed their degree.
The IIHS study also found that people who studied for their degrees are also more likely to be unemployed and to live in low-income neighbourhoods, as well as less likely to work full-time.
In the U-20 age group, nearly one-third of those surveyed said they would prefer to go back to school to get their driving skills.
The majority of people surveyed who said they want to pursue driving careers are also considering getting a licence in the next three to five years, according this study.
While driving skills have been growing at a steady pace over the past few years, most students aren’t getting the education and the driving experience they need to develop their skills, according Raskuulineck.
“In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in driving and driving schools, and the numbers of people that are choosing that path have actually increased, not decreased,” he added.
“There’s a lot riding on that.”
With files from The Canadian Press and Reuters