Young millennials are the worst-behaved drivers on the road, with 88 percent reporting in a study released this week that they recently engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel such as texting, speeding or running red lights.
According to the study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 88.4 percent of drivers ages 19-24 told researchers they had engaged in a risky behavior while driving within the previous 30 days. Among drivers age 25-39, 79.2 percent had engaged in a risky behavior, while 75.2 percent of drivers age 40-59 acknowledged such activity.
Among drivers ages 16-18, only 69.3 percent admitted a risky behavior behind the wheel, along with 69.1 percent of drivers aged 75 or over and 67.3 percent of drivers ages 60-74.
“It’s important for parents to model safe driving for novice drivers which builds a strong foundation for safe driving later on by millennials,” said Anita Lorz Vilagrana, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Community Programs and Traffic Safety manager.
“No parent wants to get the phone call or a knock on the door that their young driver was a car crash victim due to poor driver behavior—whether through their own or others’ actions.”
David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said he found it alarming that some of the drivers ages 19-24 in the survey felt their behavior behind the wheel was “acceptable.”
“It’s critical that these drivers understand the potentially deadly consequences of engaging in these types of behaviors and they change their behavior and attitudes in order to reverse the growing number of fatalities on U.S. roads,” Yang said.
According to the study, drivers ages 19-24 were 1.6 times as likely as all other drivers to admit reading a text message or email while driving, and they were nearly twice as likely to have typed or sent a text message or email while behind the wheel.
Nearly 50 percent of drivers in the age group admitted driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36 percent of all other drivers. Nearly 14 percent of those drivers ages 19-24 said they felt driving through the red light was an acceptable maneuver.