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Guess What Millennials: You’re Bad at Driving, Too

By: Bridget Clerkin March 16, 2017

Millennials are often labeled as spoiled; the “participation award” generation. Now the group has been handed yet another recognition for their actions—but it’s one they may not want to display in their collective trophy case.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently designated millennials as the worst drivers on the road, reporting that 88% of motorists between ages 19 to 24 participated in at least one “risky” behavior behind the wheel within 30 days of a survey the organization conducted this February.

While it’s debatable whether that age range truly constitutes millennial members of society, the rest of AAA’s findings leave no question: 79.8% of drivers between age 25 and 39—a true sampling of the generation—were guilty of the same recklessness, according to the survey.

The most common offenses committed by the 19-24 group were texting while driving—which they were 1.6 times more likely to do than their fellow participants—and running red lights, which happened in 50% of the young millennials’ cases over the 30-day period, compared to 36% of all other drivers.

Speeding was also an issue, with drivers in the 19-24 age range 1.4 times more likely than the other motorists involved in the survey to drive at least 10 MPH over the speed limit on a residential street.

Strangely enough, the figures mirror almost exactly another set of statistics that were met with much alarm by the motor vehicle industry barely two years ago: figures proclaiming millennials weren’t getting on the road at all.

The study, conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, found that just 76.7% of 20- to 24-year-olds were seeking licenses at all—a significant drop from the 91.8% in the same age range who got licensed in 1983.

The revelation sent the industry in a tizzy, worried about the future of everything from driving to the DMV, and had others proclaiming that cars had simply become too expensive for cash-strapped millennials with increasing student loan burdens.

It seems like no one knows what to think about the concept of millennial drivers. Maybe that’s why the generation was the first to upend the entire motor vehicle ecosystem. And their award for participating in the creation of the rideshare industry? Letting someone else worry about the dangers on the road.

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