For anyone driving in Palm Beach County or Flagler County, Florida, it is important to think about car accident risks and how to avoid them. One of the bigger issues in conversations about safe driving today might have more to do with the age groups of drivers than the types of driving behaviors themselves. In other words, rather than looking at bad driving behaviors and trying to figure out what kind of driver engages in those bad behaviors, we might start instead with a set of drivers who fall within a certain age group: millennials, or drivers in Generation Y.
According to a recent report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “88 percent of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days, earning the top spot of worst behaved drivers in the U.S.”
Are millennials the worst drivers? And what should you do if you were injured in a serious car accident caused by a distracted driver or an aggressive driver? An experienced Florida car accident attorney can answer your questions today.
How Do We Define Millennials? Who Are These Bad Drivers?
Young millennials are likely to engage in driving behaviors that commonly result in car accidents, ranging from aggressive driving to distracted driving.
When we talk about millennials, what are the ages of the drivers are we referring to? Different organizations have defined the term “millennial” in varying ways. According to the Pew Research Center, a millennial is anyone who was born from 1981 onward — including babies born in 2017. The U.S. Census Bureau defines millennials as people born between 1982 and 2000. Other groups, such as BuzzFeed, suggest that the millennial generation extends from those born in 1981 to those born in 1997.
Regardless of how you define millennials, the important takeaway point is this: the AAA Foundation links young drivers with bad driving habits. Indeed, youth and risky driving behaviors seem to go hand-in-hand these days.
AAA Report Connects Millennials and Bad Driving Habits
In brief, young millennials are engaging in dangerous behaviors behind the wheel that can increase the likelihood of a serious collision, including “texting while driving, red-light running, and speeding,” according to the AAA report.
What is so problematic about these findings is not just that young drivers are engaging in risky behaviors. Dr. David Yang, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director, explains that “some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.”
If we are going to prevent car accidents, then we all need to recognize that there is a clear connection between negligent driving and traffic collisions. As Yang clarifies, “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.”
In 2015, the total number of U.S. traffic fatalities increased by 7 percent, which represented the “largest single-year increase in five decades,” according to the AAA report. The total number of traffic fatalities in Florida was particularly high. Indeed, a fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that there were 35,092 deaths in the U.S. in 2015, with an average of 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population. That number is significantly higher in Florida, where the motor vehicle fatality rate in 2015 was 14.5 per 100,000 population. In total, there were 2,939 fatalities reported in Florida in 2015, or more than 8 percent of the total number of auto accident deaths in the country.
Common Bad Driving Behaviors of Millennials
First, the report ranks drivers by age in terms of those who admitted to speeding, running a red light, and/or texting while driving in the last 30 days. Here is what the AAA Foundation found:
- 4 percent of drivers between the ages of 19-24 admitted to engaging in one or more of these behaviors in the last 30 days.
- 2 percent of drivers between the ages of 25-39 also admitted to speeding, running a red light, and/or texting while driving.
- 2 percent of drivers aged 40-59 admitted to engaging in one or more of these dangerous driving behaviors.
- 3 percent of drivers between the ages of 16-18 admitted to engaging in one or more of these behaviors.
- 1 percent of drivers aged 75 and older self-reported speeding, running a red light, and/or texting while driving.
- 3 percent of drivers between the ages of 60-74 admitted to any of these behaviors.
As you can see, aggressive driving and distracted driving is certainly a problem among drivers of all ages. However, young millennials admit to engaging in these dangerous behaviors more than drivers in any other age group. The AAA report also released the following statistics:
- Drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 are 1.6 times as likely as other drivers to read a text message or an email while driving.
- Young millennials in the 19-24 age group are about twice as likely as other drivers to compose a text message or an email, or to send one, while driving.
- Drivers aged 19-24 are 1.4 times as likely as other drivers to go 10 mph or greater over the speed limit while driving on a residential street.
- About 12 percent of drivers aged 19-24 believe it is acceptable to drive 10 mph or more over the speed limit while driving in a school zone.
- Almost 50 percent of young millennial drivers in the 19-24 age group admitted to running a red light when they could have stopped safely.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney
Millennials engage in risky driving behaviors that can result in serious and even fatal motor vehicle crashes. If you or someone you love recently got hurt in a traffic collision caused by another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, an experienced car accident attorney in Florida can assist with your case. Contact the law offices of Chiumento Selis Dwyer, P.L. today for more information.