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Risky driving by millennials and the lessons not learned

The stereotype of an older person is someone stodgy and irritable when it comes to attitudes about the younger generation. Oftentimes, they are accused of relentlessly complaining about “kids” and how they need to “get out of their yard.”

A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that roads, not yards seem to be a greater intrusion courtesy of the millennial crowd.

The survey of 2,511 drivers from August 25 through September 6 revealed that 88 percent of drivers 19- to 24-years old admitted to texting while driving, driving over the speed limit, and or running red lights during the previous month.

Perhaps most alarming is the number of millennial who believe that these dangerous driving habits are acceptable.

  • Typing or sending a text or email while driving at nearly twice the rate of other drivers (59.3 percent to 31.4 percent)
  • Running a red light even if they could have stopped safely (50 percent) compared with other age groups (36 percent)
  • Admitting that it is acceptable to speed 10 mph (12 percent to five percent)

Perhaps an even more dangerous trend is the hypocrisy shown by many of the respondents. These driver claim that aggressive, distracted and impaired driving is wrong, yet admit to the same behavior.

  • Reading a text or email: 40.2 percent admitted to it while 78.2 percent deemed it completely unacceptable
  • Drowsy driving: 80 percent saw it as completely unacceptable while 23.9 percent admitted being so tired that they had trouble keeping their eyes open
  • Running a red light: A vast majority (92.8 percent) claimed that ignoring a stoplight was unacceptable with more than a third (35.6 percent) admitting to the traffic violation

In 2015, traffic deaths increased seven percent to 35,092, representing the largest one-year jump in five decades. Combining all the AAA study’s data only verifies the growing risks of driving while reckless, distracted, impaired or hypocritical.

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