Oh, those Millennial drivers: They’re just not very safe

- Bart Jansen @ganjansen

Millennial drivers are the worst.

That’s not just their elders talking. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found 88% of drivers ages 19 to 24 acknowledg­ed engaging in risky behavior such as texting while driving, running red lights or speeding in the previous month, according to a re- port released Wednesday.

The survey of 2,511 drivers from Aug. 25 through Sept. 6 by market research firm GfK found:

Millennial­s acknowledg­ed typing or sending a text or email while driving at nearly twice the rate of other drivers (59.3% to 31.4%).

Nearly half of Millennial­s reported running a red light even if they could have stopped safely, compared with 36% of the rest of drivers.

Nearly 12% of Millennial­s said it was acceptable to speed 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared with 5% of other drivers.

“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19 to 24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” says David Yang, the foundation’s executive director.

The findings come as driving is becoming more dangerous: The number of traffic deaths in the USA rose to 35,092 in 2015. That 7% increase from a year earlier was the largest one-year jump in five decades.

The survey also found drivers are hypocrites: While 40.2% of drivers reported reading a text or email in the preceding month, 78.2% called that “completely unacceptab­le,” the survey said.

Almost all drivers, 92.8%, called driving through a red light unacceptab­le. But 35.6% acknowledg­ed running a light during the previous month.

“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,” Yang says.

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