Millennial drivers have a bad reputation, but is it earned? According to USA Today, the answer is a resounding yes, with many motorists who fall within this age group admitting to engaging in dangerous driving practices behind the wheel. When millennial drivers choose not to follow the rules of the road in favor of texting, speeding or drinking and driving, for example, they place you and everyone else on the road at risk, and statistics show this is happening far more often than you might like to think.
Problems among millennial drivers are so prevalent, in fact, that 88 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds say they have engaged in dangerous driving behaviors within the last month, among them speeding, texting and running red lights.
In one recent survey involving more than 2,500 millennial drivers, almost half of all participants admitted to running a red light, even though they could have just as easily come to a safe stop. Comparatively, only about 36 percent of drivers across other age groups admitted to doing the same. Millennial motorists also have lax views about speeding in school zones, with almost 12 percent reporting they thought it was acceptable to travel at 10 mph more than the posted speed limit in a school zone. Meanwhile, only 5 percent of drivers across other age groups said the same.
Talking on the phone and texting while driving are some of the dangerous driving behaviors that receive the most attention, and with good reason. Millennial drivers admit to texting and emailing while at the vehicle’s controls at nearly twice the rate of other drivers, with nearly 60 percent of all millennial motorists admitting to doing so.
Escalating traffic deaths
Overall, the number of traffic fatalities in the nation climbed 7 percent from 2014 to 2015, and distracted driving behaviors are a factor in many such accidents.
Just how many of those traffic fatalities arose from crashes involving millennial drivers is unclear, but there is a clear need for enhanced education and a changed mindset among younger drivers about staying safe while on the road.