Seeing Bad Behavior on Rockford’s Streets? It May Be a Millennial
Both my kids are (depending on the chart you look at) millennials, that group of Americans that are constantly (usually with good reason) excoriated for narcissism, bad manners, lack of respect, inability to deal with things that don't go their way, etc. Now, according to Chicago AAA, they're the worst-behaved drivers on our roads.
Both of my millennials were told when they began driving that they were NEVER to text, email, check Facebook, SnapChat, or InstaGram. Failure to comply, even once, meant (actually, still means) that their driving privileges would be terminated immediately. No license, no car, no driving of any kind until my wife and I decide otherwise. No exceptions, no excuses, period. If you think that I'm being hardcore about it, I should show you the "drivers contract" my dad made me sign before allowing me to even back out of the driveway. That was hardcore, but very effective.
According to a news release from Chicago AAA, millennials take the title as the "worst behaved drivers on America's roads:"
A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 88 percent of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days, earning the top spot of worst behaved U.S. drivers. These dangerous behaviors ? which increase crash risk ? included texting while driving, red-light running and speeding. These findings come as U.S. traffic deaths rose to 35,092 in 2015, an increase of more than 7 percent, the largest single-year increase in five decades.
“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “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 in order to reverse the growing number of fatalities on U.S. roads.”
By rank and by age group, the percentage of drivers who reported engaging in speeding, red light running or texting behind the wheel in the past 30 days include:
- Drivers ages 19-24: 88.4 percent
- Drivers ages 25-39: 79.2 percent
- Drivers ages 40-59: 75.2 percent
- Drivers ages 16-18: 69.3 percent
- Drivers ages 75+: 69.1 percent
- Drivers ages 60-74: 67.3 percent
As for texting while driving:
- Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to report having read a text message or e-mail while driving in the last 30 days (66.1 percent vs. 40.2 percent).
- Drivers ages 19-24 were nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving (59.3 percent vs. 31.4 percent).
- Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.4 times as likely as all drivers to report having driven 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.
- Nearly 12 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5 percent of all drivers.
Red Light Running:
- Nearly 50 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36 percent of all drivers.
- Nearly 14 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive through a light that just turned red, when they could have stopped safely, compared to about 6 percent of all drivers.
Well, it looks like I left speeding, school zones, and red light running out of my chat with my kids. Time to call a family meeting again.