Millennials have become the scapegoat for a lot of today’s societal issues. They are the “Everybody Got a Trophy” generation – the ones who supposedly need to be praised constantly and told that they are extra special. They are considered to be lazy, not wanting to do the work that needs to be done in order to get their dream job or their dream house. Entitled, self-absorbed and impatient are just a few of the negative adjectives that are used to describe Millennials – but do these group of young people who were born between the years 1977 and 1995 really deserve this bad reputation?
Most recently, the Rapid City Journal reports that Millennials are now being labeled as the most distracted and perhaps most dangerous drivers on the road. The article cites a study released by AAA that claims that Millennial drivers, in particular young Millennials between the ages of 19 and 24, are most likely to exhibit risky behaviors while driving. These risky behaviors can include texting while driving, checking e-mail or browsing social media sites while operating a vehicle, using the phone to make a phone call or operating a GPS system while driving, to name a few.
Breaking Down the Stats
- At least 88 percent of young drivers between the ages of 19-24 who participated in the survey reported that they “exhibited at least one risky driving behavior in the past 30 days.”
- The study evaluated the responses of 2,511 drivers over the age of 16. Within the study group, drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 were considered to be the most at-risk to others on the road.
- As more young Millennials hit the road, it should be noted that the number of traffic fatalities increased. From 2015 to 2016, traffic deaths across the country increased by 6 percent, with 40,200 car accident fatalities reported in 2016 alone.
- The traffic death increases are record-breaking, and can be attributed to the poor driving habits of the majority of drivers on the road.
Distracted driving is increasing amongst drivers of all ages, making it more dangerous than ever for people to be on the road. Drivers who are distracted by technology or who are under the influence of alcohol are considered to be negligent, and may be held responsible if their risky behavior results in a motor vehicle accident that causes injury or death. Drivers in Denver and throughout the country should be aware of their rights, particularly in the event of a distracted driving car accident. They may be eligible for compensation if the driver is found to be negligent.
While the facts about distracted driving are alarming, and it’s clear that Millennials are more likely to exhibit risky behaviors than other drivers, is it really fair to place the blame for this cultural phenomenon on one single generation?
Why are Millennials Being Blamed?
Millennials are a large generation, and young Millennials make up a significant portion of the drivers on the road. Naturally, they are more likely to be engaging in these risky behaviors in higher numbers, as there are more of them operating vehicles at any given moment.
In addition, Millennials are a unique group in society because they are the only generation at this point that was raised on this technology. They were the first group of school children to rely on computers to complete their homework, the Internet was introduced to them during their formative years, and cell phones as well as text messaging took off during their adolescence. The advent of the smart phone also happened at a pivotal time during their young adult lives, and they have always been able to comfortably and easily adapt to new technology. Technology is such a natural part of their lives, it’s not surprising that they feel confident enough to send a quick text message or check their Twitter feed while driving – even though they are all well aware of the dangers of distracted driving. This is the fearless generation, after all.
Beyond that, Millennials also watched their own parents use these technological devices while driving. The parental influence is strong, and since they learned to drive while watching their parents make calls on their cell phones or send a text at a red light, many young Millennials feel they can and should do the same.
The numbers certainly raise concern that Millennials may not be taking the warnings about distracted driving seriously, and that they are not changing their behaviors and bad habits, but it’s not necessarily fair to blame the entire problem on this generation. The numbers need context, as it allows people to better understand why Millennials are considered the riskiest drivers on the road.
To find out more information about the dangers of distracted driving and your rights in the event of a car accident caused by distracted driving, call our firm today.