If you pay any attention to the media – print, TV, radio, or online, you know that Millennials are constantly evaluated and compared to other generations. This recent radio interview on Wisconsin Public Radio is no different. This interview highlighted a recent study – AAA Survey Finds Young Millennials Are Biggest Offenders Of Distracted Driving and Reckless Driving.

The survey of more than 2,500 drivers from all age groups found 88 percent of young millennials — those drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 — engaged in at least one risky driving behavior in 30 days. Those behaviors included texting and driving, using drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel, or running red lights.”

According to Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA Wisconsin, “This age group is the most likely to be involved crashes,” he said. “Most likely to be injured. And, unfortunately, most likely to be killed on the roads here in Wisconsin, according to our crash data.” This is important as fleets across the country have drivers in this age group. Although fleets may not have as many drivers in this age group than in others, don’t get ahead of yourself. The interview stated – when compared to other groups, the second worst offenders are actually older millennials — drivers between the ages of 25 and 39. Seventy-nine percent of respondents in that age group admitted to engaging in risky driving behaviors. Fleet definitely have a great number of drivers in this age group.

When it comes to distracted driver behaviors, those are well known and growing. Before the last decade or so, you had common distractions such as eating, putting on make-up, changing the radio. Then came the navigation devices to add to the existing. Then came the flip-phone and we know how talking on the phone pulls your attention away from the task of driving. Then came the smartphone to pile on top of everything else. Now, there’s texting and driving, dialing, navigation, emailing, face-timing, tweeting, snap-chatting, etc. It’s a fact that more apps and uses for smartphones will continue. All of these add to distracted driving. But remember, eliminating the phone does not eliminate all of the other distractions that we’ve had for decades.

Beyond distracted driving, the study reminds us that a new generation of drivers continue to drink or use drugs and drive. The primary deterrent her is education on how long it takes to become sober, how little it takes to become impaired, etc. Current technology like Uber and Lyft, etc. can be of assistance here.

The last item identified in the study is that of running red lights. Again, education needs to be provided (ongoing) to remind drivers of the safe distance to trail another vehicle, not driving distracted, etc. so that they are not in a bad position when making a decision to stop at a yellow or to not notice the actual intersection.

The way to combat this is going to be with continued education on what not to do while driving and the rules to follow to avoid causing an accident and possibly how to avoid an accident being caused by someone else that is distracted. Let us remember that all of the technology in the world does not remove the onus of personal responsibility.

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