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AAA Study Cites Dangerous Millennial Driving Habits

New Study from AAA Foundation Says Young Millennials are Among the Worst Drivers 

While we often expect the most dangerous driving behaviors (and thus the highest risk of a car crash) to come from young teenagers who are inexperienced behind the wheel and have just acquired their driver’s licenses, a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that younger millennials—people between the ages of 19 and 24—are actually among the drivers who exhibit the most dangerous behaviors on the road. As that report highlights, “88% of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days, earning the top spot of worst behaved U.S. drivers.”

When you engage in risky behaviors while driving, you increase the risk of a serious or fatal car accident. What are some of the behaviors that AAA links to young millennial drivers? Take a look at the following list:

  • Texting while driving;
  • Running red lights; and
  • Speeding.

Given that traffic fatalities rose by 7% in 2015—what AAA describes as “the largest single-year increase in five decades”—it is important to consider some of the possible causes. One reason for the rising rate of deadly collisions could be careless driving. According to Dr. David Yang, the executive director of the AAA Foundation, one of the major problems is that many young millennial drivers do not recognize the potential harm in their driving behaviors. As he elucidates, “alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.”

Because young drivers may believe it is tolerable to speed, run red lights, and text while driving, even in states where texting behind the wheel is illegal, we need to do more to raise public awareness about these dangerous driving behaviors. Yang highlights how it is “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.”

Getting the Facts About Young Millennials and Dangerous Driving 

The AAA study emphasizes that drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 ranked highest for speeding, running red lights, and/or texting within the last 30 days. More than 88% of drivers in that age group admitted to engaging in one or more of those behaviors. What other facts and figures are important to note about drivers in the 19-24 age group?

  • 6 times as likely as other drivers to read a text message or email while driving;
  • Almost twice as likely as other drivers to type or send a text or email while driving;
  • 4 times as likely as other drivers to travel at 10 miles per hour (or greater) over the speed limit on residential streets;
  • Believe that it is acceptable to drive 10 miles per hour (or greater) over the speed limit in school zones; and
  • About 14% of young millennials believe it is acceptable to drive through a red light when it is possible to stop safely (compared to only 6% of the remaining driving population).

The statistics named above are alarming. Although younger millennials seem to exhibit the largest percentage of dangerous driving habits, no age group is immune from such behavior. In fact, every age group has a large amount of individuals who exhibit dangerous driving habits. It is important for every driver- regardless of age- to avoid dangerous driving habits. In the event that you or someone you love was injured in a car accident due to someone else’s dangerous driving, contact an experienced car accident lawyer to learn more about your rights.

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