Young millennials—those between the ages of 19 and 24—get the dubious distinction of being the most distracted drivers on the road, according to new research. If your workforce includes young people, you’ll want to know more.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that 88 percent of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days. That earned them the description of “worst-behaved U.S. drivers.” Dangerous behaviors included texting while driving, red-light running, and speeding. The findings come as U.S. traffic deaths rose to 35,092 in 2015, an increase of more than seven percent. That’s the largest single-year increase in five decades.
Said Dr. David Yang, who directs the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.” He said it’s critical that these drivers understand the potentially deadly consequences of their unsafe behaviors and make changes in order to reverse the uptick in traffic fatalities.
Other conclusions from the AAA research:
- Drivers aged 19-24 were nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or email while driving, and they were 1.6 times as likely to report having read a text message or email while driving in the last 30 days.
- Nearly 12 percent of millennial drivers said they feel it is acceptable to drive 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone.
- About half of young drivers reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped.