Young millennial drivers are the worst behaved drivers on the road according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The survey found that 88 percent of young millennials (drivers age 19-24) engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days including texting while driving, running red lights and speeding.
“It’s critical that these drivers understand the potentially deadly consequences of engaging in these types of behaviors and that they change their behavior and attitudes in order to reverse the growing number of fatalities on U.S. roads,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director, in a statement.
U.S. traffic deaths increased more than 7 percent last year (for a total 35,092 deaths), the largest single-year increase in five decades. It’s not much of a surprise that the youngest drivers are the most dangerous. Experience counts for something, but other generations are doing much better.
Among drivers ages 25-39, 79 percent reported engaging in the same bad driving behaviors in the past month. Even among the oldest segment of drivers, those ages 75 plus, almost 70 percent said they had engaged in speeding, running a red light or texting while driving in the last 30 days. Drivers ages 60-74 proved the most responsible with only 67 percent having participated in bad driving behaviors in the same time period.
Still, drivers 19-24 are the big risk takers and are almost twice as likely as all driver to type or send a text message or email while driving. They are more likely than all divers to dive 10 mph over the speed limit in residential areas and they are more likely than drivers of other ages to think it is acceptable to drive through a light that has just turned red.
“Too often we see what can happen as a result of underestimating risk while driving,” said Garrett Townsend, Georgia Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group in a statement. “Change starts with our own behavior. We need to set a good example by following speed limits, putting the phone down and fully focusing on the task of driving.”