Are millennials today’s worst drivers? According to a new report from The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, yes! After surveying 2,511 licensed drivers ages 16 and up, results showed that 88 percent of young millennials (ages 19 to 24) drove recklessly in the past 30 days. They engaged in risky behaviors such as texting while driving, speeding and even running red lights. With U.S. traffic deaths rising to 35,092 in 2015 (the largest single-year increase in five decades), it’s time to start getting serious about safe driving.
Texting While Driving
We all know distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and yet millennials were nearly twice as likely than other age groups to report sending a message while driving (59.3 percent versus 31.4 percent). To avoid the temptation of reading or responding to a text while driving, put your phone on silent (that includes no vibrating) and place it out of reach. Worried you’ll be out of touch in the event of an emergency? Set up calls to be sent to your car using Bluetooth. Answering your phone hands-free is a much safer option.
Drivers ages 19 to 24 were 1.4 times as likely to report driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street. Nearly 12 percent of millennials said it’s acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5 percent of all drivers.
However, speeding doesn’t just put your life in danger; it affects everyone around you. To avoid feeling rushed, AAA suggests leaving your home with ample time to reach your destination. And while driving, always pay close attention to the speedometer (and of course, the road).
Running Red Lights
Everyone knows that red means stop. And yet, compared to 36 percent of all drivers, nearly 50 percent of millennials reported driving through a red light when they could have stopped safely. With red-light running contributing to hundreds of deaths each year, try to remember that yellow means slow down, not speed up.
The AAA study didn’t leave other age groups off the hook. More than 60 percent of all drivers surveyed reported engaging in dangerous behaviors in the past 30 days. So whether you’re 16 or 65, remember that the actions and decisions you make on the road have consequences.
To learn more, visit the The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
For more information on recent AAA research and studies, go to AAA.com/AAAStudies.