Young millennials earn top spot on AAA list of worst-behaved drivers

Feb 15, 2017

Young millennials are the worst-behaved drivers on the road, according to new data released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Credit AAA

The study found that young millennials are involved about four  times as many vehicle accidents as other groups and that 88% engage in risky behavior behind the wheel in a typical month. Common problems include texting while driving, speeding and running red lights.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teens ranging from 16-20. They account for more than 5,600 hundred deaths a year, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Lindsay Hawkins, AAA Communications Specialist,  told WBFO  some of the risky behavior could be attributed to young people following the lead of others.

Lindsay Hawkins, AAA communications specialist
Credit AAA

"Some of it comes from seeing other people do it," she said. "Their parents have done it and maybe their friends [have done it],  and they see that it’s okay."

Advances in technology have also led to additional distractions, Hawkins said.

“ When these older people were driving they didn’t have this technology they didn’t have this temptation, that I can send my friend a quick text message and you know it’s safe to do that, there wasn’t that temptation”.

Drivers ages 19 to 24 were nearly twice as likely to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving, compared to adults in other age groups.

Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Executive director, said too many young people believe that their "dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.

In 2015, traffic deaths nationwide rose to 35,095, an increase of 7 percent. Experts said the spike was the largest single-year increase in a half-century.