AAA Study Reveals Young Millennials as the Worst Drivers in the U.S.

millennial texting while drivingA recent study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that young millennials between the ages of 19 and 24 years old are the most likely to engage in high-risk behavior while driving.

The study used speeding, texting while driving, and red-light running to measure 2,511 drivers, 16 years or older, to determine which age groups are more likely to violate traffic laws and roadway safety. According to the AAA Foundation, 88 percent of young millennials reported to have taken part in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel within the last 30 days.

Although young millennials’ violations were high, the study’s findings show that a majority of every generation frequently engages in dangerous driving behaviors. By percentage rank, the age groups who reported engaging in speeding, red-light running or texting behind the wheel in the past 30 days include:

  • 19-24 years (88.4 %)
  • 25-39 years (79.2 %)
  • 40-59 years (75.2 %)
  • 16-18 years (69.3 %)
  • 75+ years (69.1 %)
  • 60-74 years (67.3 %)

Further analysis of the data collected by AAA’s researchers indicates that young millennial drivers were nearly twice as likely to commit a high-risk action compared to other age groups.

Texting While Driving

Drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 years old were 1.6 times as likely as all other drivers to have read a text message or email while driving within the last 30 days (66.1 percent vs. 40.2 percent). AAA also found that drivers who are 19 to 24 years old were nearly twice as likely to send a text message or email while driving (59.3 percent vs. 31.4 percent).


Young millennial drivers were 1.4 times as likely as all other generations to have driven 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street. Nearly 12 percent of young millennial drivers found speeding within a residential area to be acceptable, compared to less than five percent of drivers from other age groups.

Red-Light Running

Nearly half of young millennial drivers reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have safely stopped, compared to 36 percent of other drivers who participated in the study. Young millennials were also more than twice as likely to view red-light running as an acceptable form of driving behavior compared to other drivers surveyed (14 percent vs. 6 percent).

U.S. Drivers’ Worsening Behavior May Have Caused More Traffic Fatalities

The AAA study comes in the wake of the National Safety Council’s (NSC) estimation that 2016 was the deadliest year for motorists since 2007.

According to the NSC, approximately 40,200 people were killed in auto accidents throughout the U.S. in 2016. Auto safety advocates have stated the increase could be attributed to the improving economy, which has created job growth and increased the number of drivers on U.S. roads and allowed motorists to travel more.

However, the NSC also affirmed that high-risk behaviors such as those mentioned in the AAA Foundation’s study also contributed to the large number of deaths caused by auto accidents in 2016. NSC officials have stated that driver complacency is to blame for the casual outlook most have toward dangerous driving behaviors and the high rate of deadly car accidents.

Drivers who regularly engage in high-risk behaviors are jeopardizing their lives and the safety of U.S. roads. Victims of car accidents caused by a negligent or reckless drivers may have legal options that could recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The Sacramento car accident attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm can review your potential options through a free, no obligation consultation. We do not charge our clients any fees unless we are able to recover compensation for their claim.

Do not hesitate to call a personal injury attorney from the Arnold Law Firm after being in a car accident (916) 777-7777.