Due to their inexperience on the road, young drivers receive more scrutiny behind the wheel. They have to pay more for car insurance, have safe driving programs aimed at teaching them better practices, and even have safety features built into modern vehicles to help them keep their attention on the drive ahead. And for good reason. According to the CDC, in 2014, six teens aged 16-19 died every day from motor vehicle related accidents and in 2013, 15-19 year olds only represented 7% of the population but accounted for 11% of total costs of car accident related injuries. Moreover, traffic deaths rose to 35,092 in 2015, the highest level since 37,423 in 2008.
Motor Vehicle Deaths in the United States (2000-2015)
According to the results of a new survey released by AAA this month, a trend of unsafe driving habits could be a contributing factor to increased crashes among this age group. Released as part of AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, this survey took data from 2,511 licensed drivers aged 16 and older, and revealed that young millennials reported the highest level of risky behavior while driving. Some important statistics from the study include:
- Drivers who reported speeding, running red lights or texting while driving in last 30 days by age group: 16-18: 69.3%, 19-24: 88.4%, 25-39: 79.2%, 40-59: 75.2%, 60-74: 67.3%, 75+: 69.1%
- Drivers ages 19-24 were almost twice as likely as all other drivers to report having typed or sent a text or e-mail while driving (59.3% vs. 31.4%).
- Close to 12% of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5% of all other drivers.
- Almost 50% of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36% of all drivers.
Although Generation Z is just as attached to their phones, if not even more so, drivers from their generation are either learning the dangers of distracted driving or were simply too afraid to report it on the survey. Moreover, the consistency of unsafe driving habits across all age groups is shocking. Although the survey presents a very small sample size, every age group across the board could improve their driving habits. Small survey data is not 100% accurate, but based on the evidence at hand, young millennials appear to have the most dangerous driving habits of current drivers.
What do you think? Is this a cause for concern? Are millennials the worst driving age group currently on the road?