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Young Millennial drivers are the worst, study finds

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RICHMOND, Va. — Young millennial drivers, defined as between the ages of 19 and 24, are the country’s riskiest drivers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study found almost 90 percent of those young millennial drivers took at least one risky behavior while driving in the last 30 days — earning them the study’s top spot for “worst behaved drivers.”

Dangerous behaviors include texting while driving, speeding, and running red lights.

While the numbers look bad for the young millennials, they do not improve much with age.

“Before you start finger pointing, look in the mirror,” Martha Mitchell Meade, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA, said.  “As disturbing as this may be, equally disturbing is the fact that the millennials behaving badly are hardly alone.”

The same study found MOST drivers on the road today engage in those same risky behaviors.

A key difference between younger and older drivers could be the fact, the study found, young millennial drivers think those dangerous driving behaviors are okay.

“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director, said. “It’s critical that these drivers understand the potentially deadly consequences.”

The findings of the AAA study can be found below:

By rank and by age group, the percentage of drivers who reported engaging in speeding, red light running, or texting behind the wheel in the past 30 days include:

1. Drivers ages 19-24: 88.4 percent

2. Drivers ages 25-39: 79.2 percent

3. Drivers ages 40-59: 75.2 percent

4. Drivers ages 16-18: 69.3 percent

5. Drivers ages 75+: 69.1 percent

6. Drivers ages 60-74: 67.3 percent

Texting While Driving

Drivers ages 19 – 24 were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to report having read a text message or e-mail while driving in the last 30 days

Drivers ages 19 – 24 were nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving

Speeding

Drivers ages 19 – 24 were 1.4 times as likely as all drivers to report having driven 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.

Nearly 12 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5 percent of all drivers.

Red- Light Running

Nearly 50 percent of drivers ages 19 – 24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36 percent of all drivers.

Nearly 14 percent of drivers ages 19 – 24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive through a light that just turned red, when they could have stopped safely, compared to about 6 percent of all drivers.

Distracted Driving

More than 2 in 3 drivers report talking on their cell phone while driving in the past month, and nearly 1 in 3 say they do so fairly often or regularly.

More than 2 in 3 drivers (71.5 percent) support restricting the use of hand-held cell phones while driving.

Most drivers view texting or emailing while driving as a very serious threat to their own personal safety and consider it completely unacceptable. However, nearly 1 in 3 (31.4 percent) admit to typing or sending a text message or email while driving in the past month, and 2 in 5 (40.2%) report reading a text message or email while driving in the past month.