AAA: Millennials are worst behaved drivers

Survey finds 88 percent engaging in risky behavior

88 percent of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days, according to a new survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The dangerous behaviors included texting while driving, red-light running and speeding, according to the survey.

“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “It’s critical that these drivers understand the potentially deadly consequences of engaging in these types of behaviors and that they change their behavior and attitudes in order to reverse the growing number of fatalities on U.S. roads.”

Traffic deaths rose more than 7 percent to 35,092 in 2015, which is the largest single-year increase in five decades.

Other age groups also engage in risky behaviors on the road. 79% of drivers aged 25-39 engaged in risky behaviors, along with 75.2% of drivers aged 40-59. Teen drivers were 4 th worst at 69.3%. 69.1% of drivers 75-plus engaged in risky behaviors, while drivers aged 60-74 were safest, but still engaged in risky behavior 67.3 % of the time.

Texting while driving was the risky behavior that set millennials apart from other groups. Drivers aged 19-24 were 1.6 times as likely as other drivers to report having read a text message or e-mail while driving in the last 30 days (66.1 percent vs. 40.2 percent). They were also nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving (59.3 percent vs. 31.4 percent).

“Too often we see what can happen as a result of underestimating risk while driving,” said Nick Jarmusz, Wisconsin director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Change starts with our own behavior. We need to set a good example by following speed limits, putting the phone down and fully focusing on the task of driving.”