40,200 people died last year in traffic accidents in the United States, making it the deadliest year for drivers and travelers in the last decade. According to a new report from AAA, millennial driving habits helped contribute to the increase in deaths. According to a survey, 88% of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the last 30 days. These behaviors include texting and driving, red light running and speeding, which substantially increase the risk of being involved in an accident. According to the study, millennials were twice as likely to send a text while behind the wheel, when compared to drivers in older demographics, and were also significantly more likely to drive 10 mph or higher above the speed limit. Additional information form the study is available below.
By rank and 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 19-24: 88.4 percent
- Drivers ages 25-39: 79.2 percent
- Drivers ages 40-59: 75.2 percent
- Drivers ages 16-18: 69.3 percent
- Drivers ages 75+: 69.1 percent
- Drivers ages 60-74: 67.3 percent
- 4.9 percent of drivers reported having driven within one hour of using marijuana in the past year, and 2.5 percent reported having driven within one hour of using both marijuana and alcohol in the past year.
- Drivers support: Requiring built-in interlocks for all new vehicles (71.8 percent), lowering the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (63.5 percent), and a marijuana per se law (84.2 percent).
Texting While Driving
- Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to report having read a text message or e-mail while driving in the last 30 days (66.1 percent vs. 40.2 percent).
- Drivers ages 19-24 were nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving (59.3 percent vs. 31.4 percent).
- Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.4 times as likely as all drivers to report having driven 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.
- 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.
Red- Light Running
- Nearly 50 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36 percent of all drivers.
- Nearly 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.