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Are tech-savvy millennials the worst drivers?

According to a recent survey released by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes." Millennials (those drivers between the ages of 19 and 24), reported significantly higher instances of risky, crash-causing behind-the-wheel behaviors than other demographic groups did. These include being more likely to speed, run red lights and use a cellphone or text message while driving.

Not only do the results indicate that millennials are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, but also that millennials fail to appreciate the possible implications of their choices. For example, 14 percent of drivers ages 19 to 24 report that they think it's acceptable to drive through a light that had just turned red (even when they could have stopped safely), compared with just six percent of drivers in other age groups.

Millennial drivers were also almost twice as likely to have texted while driving, with 59 percent of them admitting to texting behind the wheel, compared to 31 percent of other drivers. Numerous studies have shown that texting is a particularly dangerous and distracting activity, because it involves three distinct levels of distraction:

  • Manual - the driver must take his or her hands off the wheel to type in the message
  • Visual - the driver's eyes focus not on the road ahead, but on the phone screen while texting
  • Cognitive - the brain's vital resources become devoted to the text conversation at hand, comprehending messages and crafting responses, instead of focusing on the myriad tasks associated with driving (watching for hazards, paying attention to speed, checking mirrors, navigation, etc.)

Even if you yourself don't engage in any of these risky driving behaviors, it is still possible to be injured in an accident because of another driver's recklessness. If you've been hurt in a car crash, contact an experienced local personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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