WASHINGTON — It’s easy to think the worst drivers on the road are speed-seeking teens who have only had a license for a short time, but a surprising new study shows which age group really represents the worst drivers on the road.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a report from a sample of 2,511 drivers revealing that 88% of young millennials — defined as those between the ages of 19 and 24 — had performed at least one risky driving behavior within the past 30 days.
Behaviors defined as risky included texting while driving, speeding, and running red lights. It is believed that an increased incidence of these behaviors could be in part responsible for an overall 7% increase in driving fatalities from 2014 to 2015.
“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” Dr. David Yang, the executive director of the study’s sponsor, says in a AAA release. “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.”
Unsurprisingly, the rate of engaging in dangerous driving behavior almost uniformly decreased with age. For example, only 67.3 percent of those between the ages of 60 and 74 performed risky maneuvers. That’s a 21% decrease from the aforementioned millennials.
Other interesting statistics from the research include the fact that millennials were twice as likely as other drivers to have typed or sent a text message or email while driving. They’re also almost two-and-a-half times more likely to have reported that they felt as if it was acceptable to drive 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.
Nevertheless, it’s easy to feel unsettled knowing that a majority of drivers, regardless of age, act distracted or careless on the road.