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Young millennials top list of worst behaved drivers, new study shows

88 percent engage in risky behavior behind the wheel

Husbands and wives top the list of the worst backseat drivers, according to a survey of 500 drivers commissioned by Insurance.com. But they aren't the only offenders:
Husbands and wives top the list of the worst backseat drivers, according to a survey of 500 drivers commissioned by Insurance.com. But they aren't the only offenders: (cylonka Bsg/freeimages.com)

A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 88% 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 U.S. drivers.

These dangerous behaviors included texting while driving, red-light running and speeding.

These findings come as U.S. traffic deaths rose to 35,092 in 2015, an increase of more than 7%, the largest single-year increase in five decades. 

“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.”

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:

Rank    Age Group       Risky Driving Behavior

1.            19-24             88.4%

2.            25-39             79.2%

3.            40-59             75.2%

4.            16-18             69.3%

5.            75+               69.1%

6            60-74             67.3% 

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.

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.

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% 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% of all drivers.

Nearly 50% of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36% of all drivers.

Nearly 14% 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% of all drivers.

"We can’t underestimating the safety risks of bad driving  habits, said Gary Bubar, traffic safety and public affairs specialist for AAA Michigan. “Monitoring our own behavior behind the wheel is the first step to take.  We can set a good example by following speed limits, ditching driving distractions and fully focusing on the important task of driving.”