The "worst behaved drivers" on the road are young millennials, according to a new AAA report.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety surveyed 2,511 licensed drivers about speeding, texting while driving and running red lights. According to the findings, 88 percent of licensed drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 admitted to engaging in at least one of those risky behaviors in the last 30 days.
“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of AAA. “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.”
The study found that drivers ages 19-24 were nearly twice as likely as older drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving.
Nearly 12 percent 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 percent of all drivers.
Almost 14 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive through a light that just turned red, when they could have stopped safely, compared to about 6 percent of all drivers.
The AAA Foundation's Traffic Safety Director expressed concern about the numbers. In 2015, U.S. traffic deaths climbed to 35,092, the largest single year increase in 50 years.
Risky behavior can increase risks for crashes.
“Too often we see what can happen as a result of underestimating risk while driving,” said Amy Stracke, AAA – The Auto Club Group managing director for traffic safety advocacy. “Change starts with our own behavior. We need to set a good example by following speed limits, putting the phone down and fully focusing on the task of driving.”