When it comes to texting while driving, speeding and other risky behaviors, American motorists apparently aren’t ashamed to admit they do it.
A shocking 88 percent of drivers age 19-24 acknowledge that they’ve engaged in those behaviors, as well as running red lights, at least once in the past 30 days, according to a study released Wednesday by AAA.
And their parents aren’t much better behind the wheel. The study also found that a whopping 75.2 percent of drivers ages 40-59 took the same unnecessary risks on the road.
The findings by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety come as traffic deaths are on the rise. Road fatalities rose 6 percent to 40,200 in 2016, marking the first time above 40,000 in a decade, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday from the National Safety Council. Following a 7 percent increase in 2015, road deaths have increased by 14 percent since 2014, the biggest two-year gain in 53 years.
Never miss a local story.
In Texas, traffic deaths increased by 7 percent to 3,751 in 2016, according to the safety council’s estimates.
“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” said David Yang, AAA Foundation 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.”
But all this carnage isn’t just the responsibility of Millennial drivers. Plenty of their older comrades on the roads text while driving, too, according to the study.
Asked if they had engaged in risky driving behaviors during the past 30 days, here is how motorists responded based upon their age groups: