COLUMBUS, Ohio (February 15, 2017) – Young Millennials, ages 19-24, are America’s riskiest drivers, according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. More than 88 percent of these drivers say they’ve engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving in the past 30 days. These behaviors include texting while driving, red-light running and speeding.
Risky behaviors can increase crash rates and may lead to injuries and death. U.S. traffic deaths rose to 35,092 in 2015, an increase of more than 7 percent, the largest single-year increase in five decades. Ohio’s fatal crash rate also increased in 2015 to 1,029 fatalities, up from 919 in 2014, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol statistics.
“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “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.”
Risky Driving Behaviors by Age:
By age group, the percentage of drivers who reported engaging in speeding, red-light running or texting behind the wheel in the past 30 days include:
Drivers ages 16-18: 69.3 percent
Drivers ages 19-24: 88.4 percent
Drivers ages 25-39: 79.2 percent
Drivers ages 40-59: 75.2 percent
Drivers ages 60-74: 67.3 percent
Drivers 75+: 69.1 percent
When compared to all drivers, those ages 19-24 were more likely to text, speed and run red lights. In addition:
Drivers ages 19-24 were nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or email while driving.
Nearly 12 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it’s acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5 percent of all drivers.
Nearly half of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have sopped safely.
Nearly 14 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it’s acceptable to drive through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to about 6 percent of all drivers.
The new survey results are part of the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which identifies attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety. The survey data are from a sample of 2,511 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days. The AAA Foundation issued its first Traffic Safety Culture Index in 2008, and the latest report is online at www.AAAFoundation.org.
Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 300 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org for more information on this and other research.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.