A new study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirmed that millennials can’t seem to put down their cellphones, even when they’re behind the wheel.
After surveying over 2,500 Americans, AAA concluded that 19- to 24-year-olds are more inclined than any other age group, including teens, to check their phones for texts while in the driver’s seat. Millennial drivers also aren’t as supportive of legislation aimed at stemming distractions while on the road, and they’re more likely to normalize texting and driving than other groups.
In all, 88.4 percent of respondents from ages 19-24 reported engaging in dangerous behaviors like texting, speeding and red-light running. That compared to 79.2 percent for people 25-39 and 69.3 percent for 16- to 18-year-olds.
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Phone use is one of many dangers that contribute to almost 100 American deaths every day, on average, because of car wrecks. Another is driving while intoxicated, which almost everyone agreed was a serious threat to their personal safety.
But as the study notes, most American drivers seem to abide by the mantra, “Do as I say, not as I do.” More than one in eight respondents said they had driven after drinking within the past year.
Aggressive driving can also cause wrecks. Though over three-fourths of those polled said they disapproved of speeding on the freeway, nearly half admitted to driving at least 15 miles over the speed limit in the past month.
Because of irresponsible driving, 982,307 Americans have died since 1991. One in five survey respondents had been in a serious accident, and one in three was close with someone who had been injured or killed on the road.
In 2015, there were 35,092 people who lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes, a 7.2 percent increase from the year before.
"People in the United Sates do value safe travel and desire a greater level of safety than they now experience," the authors of the survey wrote.
Because of dangers associated with driving, many of those questioned said that it’s unacceptable to not wear a seat belt. Still, one in six admitted they hadn't buckled up in the last month.