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Fewer People Are Getting Driver's Licenses, Study Finds

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If your teenage years are long gone and you still haven’t bothered to get a driver’s license, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, the percentage of people with a driver’s license decreased across all age groups between 2011 and 2014. And, while the decrease began for those over 44 around 2008 and for those over 69 around 2011, there has been a continuous decrease for those 16 to 44 years old since 1983.

According to The Atlantic, researchers are unsure why fewer people are driving. Some of the reasons suggested by an earlier study of unlicensed young adults include cost, access to public transportation, the ability to obtain transportation from others, and lack of time. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed claimed they were too busy or didn’t have enough time to get their licenses.

That study also found that the majority of people polled intended to get a license eventually, even if they never did. A full 69 percent of respondents said that they planned to get a license in the next five years, while 22 percent said they never planned to at all. The findings implied that, rather than eschew cars entirely, driving has become less of a priority than it was in the past.

The Atlantic speculates that this may just be because we’re traveling less, explaining, “The ease of Amazon, the rise of teleworking, and the endless entertainment provided by the Internet may be leading people to stay home more, but it’s hard to say—there’s no research available that explains these trends.”

But whatever the reason, it seems clear having a car doesn’t have the cachet it did in, say, the 1980s when teen star Corey Feldman called the driver's license “a license to live, a license to be free, a license to go wherever, whenever and with whomever you choose," in the movie License To Drive (1988). If the driver's license was a symbol of freedom to teens in 1988, it seems like, in 2015, not having the responsibilities that come with owning a car may be perceived as its own kind of freedom.

[h/t: The Atlantic]

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The Best Way to Fight Sky-High Gas Prices This Summer
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Thanks to crude oil prices and increasing demand, it's getting very expensive to operate a motor vehicle in the U.S. In Connecticut and New York, gas prices have hit over $3 a gallon. According to AAA, the national average—which fluctuates on a daily basis—is hovering around $2.90. As a result, motorists might spend up to $200 more fueling up in 2018.

Whether that will translate into fewer people taking road trips this summer remains to be seen. But you don't necessarily have to be at the total mercy of Big Oil every time you pull up to the pump. While credit card programs and other discount offers can shave pennies off a refuel, it's what you do once you leave the station that has the greatest impact on fuel economy.

Automotive expert Ron Montoya of Edmunds, an online automotive information hub, spoke with NBC News recently and suggested that drivers can anticipate significant savings based on one simple rule: drive less aggressively.

Depending on the model, cars tend to maximize fuel economy around 50 miles per hour (mph). When a car joins the racing flow of traffic on a highway, accelerating from 55 mph to 75 mph, fuel consumption speeds up right along with it, shaving up to 15 miles per gallon (mpg) off the vehicle's fuel efficiency. Even going 65 mph will eat up four to eight mpg more. Overall, the act of threading through traffic by speeding, braking, and rapidly accelerating is responsible for a 15 to 30 percent reduction in gas mileage. It's like paying 20 cents more per gallon for every 5 mph driven over a cruising speed of 50 mph.

In addition to maintaining a moderate speed, road trippers may also want to consider leaving cargo off the roof—it increases drag—and sticking with regular unleaded. Most cars don't need premium, even if it's "recommended" on car doors. Only use more expensive fuel if the manufacturer labels it "required."

As for those credit card deals? They vary by issuer, but paying cash usually results in a 10 to 15 cent savings per gallon because gas stations don't have to cover transaction fees. If you don't normally carry a lot of cash, consider paying with a debit card—but make sure the station will treat it as cash, not credit.

[h/t NBC News]

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LinkedIn Now Lets You Search for Jobs by Commute Time
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A long commute can have a major effect on your health and happiness. Studies regularly find that the longer it takes for people to get to work, especially if they’re driving, the less satisfied they are with their lives in general, and polls suggest that many people would happily take a lower salary in exchange for a shorter ride to work. You can put that latter theory to the test with LinkedIn’s new job search tool, which lets you look for open positions based on potential commute times, according to Lifehacker.

The new “See Your Commute” feature on LinkedIn will let you enter your address to see how long it would take to get to the office in a particular job listing by car, public transit, or walking. It will also let you set your preferred commute time as a preference so that when you’re searching for openings, the results won’t include companies that would require a longer commute than you’re willing to undertake. You can set your commute preferences for between 15 and 120 minutes and factor in traffic based on what time you typically start your commute.

Screenshots of LinkedIn's mobile commute-search function
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How you get to the office every day (and how long it takes you) may be as relevant to your happiness at work as the job requirements or the size of the company. If a terrible commute can make you feel worse about your job, it makes sense to hunt for your new workplace based in part on how long it will take you to get there every day.

The feature seems to only be available on the LinkedIn mobile app for now. Test the feature yourself within LinkedIn’s job search portal here.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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