Millennials, those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, are often stereotyped as a lot of things: entitled, sensitive, idealistic. Some people even blame a number of society’s problems squarely on millennials. While many of these perceptions are generally untrue, one fact is concerning: millennial drivers display riskier and more erratic driving behavior than other demographics.
A study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) presented evidence that drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 display far more risky driving behavior than adults and senior citizens. The study found that roughly 88% of the 2,511 licensed drivers surveyed displayed at least one risky driving behavior in the last month. Risky driving behavior, as defined by the AAA, included speeding, disobeying traffic signals, and using a cell phone. Millennials acknowledged texting while driving at nearly twice the rate of other drivers, and nearly half of the individuals surveyed reported running a red light, even if they could have stopped the vehicle safely.
Not surprisingly, the study fits with findings of a 7% increase in accident fatalities from 2015 to 2016. This increase follows a tragic trend in the frequency of traffic-related fatalities, which legislators throughout the country, at the federal, state, and local levels, are keenly aware of. Many states rely on marketing campaigns to increase awareness of ways to prevent fatal car accidents. For example, entities like the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Mississippi Department of Transportation routinely publish car wreck statistics on their websites to ensure citizens are informed about motor vehicle-related dangers.
Some people attribute poor millennial driving habits to technology. Over 2.5 million people are involved in traffic accidents each year, and most of those accidents involve the use of a cell phone. Since millennials grew up around technology and cell phones, many people attribute this to their risky driving habits.
It is well-known that technology leads to distracted driving. Nowadays, all drivers have multiple distractions at their fingertips any time they get inside of a vehicle. Car wrecks throughout the South are caused by people texting while driving, surfing the Internet, playing with the radio, and talking on the phone. Many younger drivers use social media platforms while driving, such as Facebook and Snapchat. Serious car accidents in Georgia and Florida were recently caused by teens driving in excess of 100 miles per hour, solely in an effort to send their friends a Snapchat video showing them going at a high rate of speed.
When someone gets behind the wheel, that person owes other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians a duty to drive safely. Using a cell phone while driving and speeding to beat a red light are both examples of driver negligence, which is a failure to act reasonably under the circumstances. To recover damages for personal injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, it will be necessary to prove the defendant’s negligence. This can be accomplished through witness testimony, reviewing the responding police officer’s investigation results, and obtaining the defendant’s cell phone records through discovery.
If you have been injured in car accident, whether with a millennial driver or somebody else, an experienced car accident lawyer can assist you in protecting your rights. For a free consultation with a personal injury attorney, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 1-800-LAW-4004 today.