Millennials Are the Riskiest Drivers, Just Ask AAA

By | March 14, 2017

Millennials just can’t catch a break when it comes to studies. It seems like everyone from my generation on up want to study, predict, and mold behaviors based on what the millennial generation is currently involved in.  

So why not do something on driving behaviors? Well, thanks to AAA, we now have that.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 88 percent of millennials engage in some type of risky behavior while driving a vehicle. The study also shows that many who engage in the behavior find it acceptable.

The study comes at a perfect time. The most recent figures related to traffic deaths show an increase of 7% from 2014 to 2015 and a 14% increase for the two-year period of 2014 to 2016. This is the highest two-year increase since 1963-64.

So what type of behavior is considered risky?

According to the study, dangerous behaviors are those that increase crash risk. They can include texting while driving, speeding, and disobeying traffic control devices.

The study included those between the ages of 16 and 75+. Of those included, the following is a breakdown of who engaged in at least one risky behavior in the last 30 days (in order of highest percentage).

  • Ages 19-24: 88.4 percent
  • Ages 25-39: 79.2 percent
  • Ages 40-59: 75.2 percent
  • Ages 16-18: 69.3 percent
  • Ages 75+: 69.1 percent
  • Ages 60-74: 67.3 percent

While millennials clearly make up the largest percentage of risky drivers, not everyone agrees that bad driving is a millennial problem. In fact, risky behavior associated with bad driving was found alarmingly prevalent among all age groups in the study.

According to the percentages above, Gen X (ages 40-59) are not that far off from millennials between the ages of 25 to 39. So, is behavior tied to age or a generation?

“All humans tend to be unsafe,” says Moon Police Sergeant, Doug Ogden, in an interview with the Post-Gazette.

The study could also be looked at as an age group, and not a generational, problem. Those aged 16-18 fared well. This shows that many are not engaging in such behaviors as they are new to driving and likely being more cautious. After all, I am a Gen Xer and remember full well engaging in all three behaviors on a regular basis when I was that age.

The older you get, the more experience you have, the more likely you are to be a better driver. Think about it like this – your car insurance gets cheaper as you get older. This is based on age, not your generation.   

So while the study shows millennials do engage in risky behavior while driving, it also shows that a large percentage of other generations do the same. The study is likely true but I would base it more on age factors than a generational factor.

We’ll know for sure in 20 years once millennials get older and GenY gets their license to drive.

Have you engaged in any of these risky behaviors in the last 30 days? Do you feel the study is related to a generation or age group?

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