Millennial Drivers Most Dangerous, Worse than Teens or Older Drivers, AAA Study Reveals

April 28th, 2017 by Attorney Julie Butcher

Kentucky’s millennial population may be the most hazardous group of drivers, according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This new study estimates that 88% of young millennials engage in risky behavior while driving, making them the country’s worst-behaved drivers.

The survey results come from the foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which looks at traffic safety attitudes and behaviors. The results are from surveys of 2,511 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported their driving behavior in the previous 30 days.

Eighty-eight percent of young millennials stated that they engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving in the previous 30 days, including texting while driving, running red lights and speeding. These findings were published as information about overall 2015 traffic safety statistics made the news. There were 35,092 traffic deaths in 2015, an increase of more than 7%, the largest single-year increase in fifty years.

Some of the drivers stated that they believed dangerous driving behavior is acceptable, oblivious to the fact that distracted driving, speeding and not obeying red lights can result in accidents that can seriously injure or kill. One of the challenges society faces is convincing dangerous drivers, both millennials and others, that their behavior needs to change to reverse the growing number of fatalities on U.S. roads.

The percentage of drivers stating they drove over the speed limit, ran red lights or texted while driving in the prior 30 days were from these age groups:

  • Ages 19-24: 88.4%
  • Ages 25-39: 79.2%
  • Ages 40-59: 75.2%
  • Ages 16-18: 69.3%
  • Ages 75+: 69.1%
  • Ages 60-74: 67.3%

Though millennials top the list, the majority of all drivers reported driving dangerously. Older drivers, though safer overall, aren’t setting a good example for others to follow.

When it comes to texting while driving, drivers ages 19 to 24 were,

  • 6 times as likely as all others to admit to reading a text message or an e-mail while driving in the previous 30 days (66.1% vs. 40.2%).
  • Nearly twice as likely as all drivers to state they typed or sent a text message or an e-mail while driving (59.3% vs. 31.4%).

Speeding is also common for drivers 19 to 24:

  • They were 1.4 times as likely as all others to state they drove 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.
  • Nearly 12% reported feeling it’s acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5% of all drivers.

Stopping at red lights is also seen as optional for many drivers aged 19 to 24:

  • Nearly half of these drivers admitted to going through a light that just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36% of drivers of all ages.
  • Nearly 14% reported feeling it’s acceptable to drive through a light that just turned red, when they could have stopped safely, compared to about 6% of all drivers.

No matter the cause for millennials and others not to take safe driving seriously, we see the tragic results of these kinds of dangerous behaviors every day. Family members are killed, children are seriously injured and adults suffer lifetime disabilities. These accidents are preventable, and often distracted and careless drivers are to blame.

If you or a family member has been injured by a vehicle accident in Kentucky, you can rely on the Julie Butcher Law Office, which has extensive experience handling the claims of those injured in vehicle accidents. Call us at 859-233-3641 or fill out our contact form so we can talk about the circumstances of your case and how we might help your family obtain compensation for your injuries.