Today, in terms of age groups, the riskiest drivers on the road may not be brand-new drivers or elderly folks, but millennials. The term millennial is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. Millennials have grown up in an electronics-filled and increasingly online and socially-networked world. This generation is thought to be more confident compared to the other generations, and while largely a positive trait, this confidence may account for a recent study’s findings that millennials are the riskiest drivers on the roadway.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a survey of over 2500 licensed drivers of all ages. Per the report, young millennial drivers were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to read a text message or e-mail while driving and 1.4 times as likely as all drivers to have driven 10 miles per hour over the speed limit on a residential street or school zone. Moreover, the report found that 88% of young millennials engaged in AT LEAST one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days. These reckless, dangerous behaviors include texting while driving, red-light running, driving while intoxicated, and speeding.
While red-light running and speeding are not new phenomena for motorists (regardless of generation classification) to engage in, the general sentiment – namely the lack of guilt millennials feel towards their driving habits on roadways- may also be markedly different from generations past. Indeed, according to the AAA Foundation’s Executive Director, the survey found some millennials, mainly younger millennials between the ages of 19 and 24, believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.