Millennials Engage in Risky Driving Behaviors

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Madeleine Jones
March 15, 2017

According to a recent study, millennials are the most likely age group to engage in risky driving behaviors, including texting, running red lights, speeding, driving while drowsy and driving while impaired. The study’s authors also found that many of the same drivers who admitted engaging in these activities also stated that the risky driving behaviors were unacceptable, displaying some hypocrisy. Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys believe that it is important for younger drivers to not only recognize the dangers that are inherent with risky driving behaviors but also to stop engaging in them.

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Risky driving behaviors increase car accidents

The Study: Dangerous Behaviors on Display

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety surveyed 2,511 drivers from Aug. 25 to Sept. 11, 2016. It found that millennials between the ages of 19 and 24 were much likelier to acknowledge engaging in risky driving behaviors than were people in all other age groups. According to the survey results, 88.4 percent of the participants in that age group reported that they had run red lights, texted while driving or had sped at least once in the month before the survey.

As compared to other drivers, 59.3 percent of the millennials admitted to texting while driving. By contrast, 31.4 percent of drivers of other age groups admitted to doing so. Almost 50 percent of the drivers in the 19-24 age group admitted to running red lights. Twelve percent of drivers in that age group reported that they believed that it was fine to drive 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in school zones. At the same time, fatal car accidents increased by 7 percent in 2015.

Cognitive Dissonance about Risky Driving

The researchers also found a difference between the drivers’ admitted driving behaviors and their beliefs about what is acceptable for others. Among the drivers overall, 40.2 percent admitted to reading text messages while driving. However, 78.2 percent stated that texting while driving was unacceptable driving behavior. Similarly, 28.9 percent of the drivers admitted to nearly falling asleep while driving, but 80 percent said that drowsy driving was unacceptable. Drivers also reported overwhelming that they believed that running red lights was unacceptable at 92.8 percent, yet 35.6 percent admitted that they had done so at least once in the previous month.

A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer believes that the survey shows a real need for enhanced driver educational programs geared towards younger drivers. Risky driving behaviors increase the danger to others and should be addressed.