Are Millennials The Worst Drivers?

Ah, millennials. With their constantly-evolving slang, love of selfies, and shunning of tradition, millennials, or people born between 1977 and 1995, are certainly perplexing to their Generation X or Baby Boomer parents.

Millennials are often criticized by older generations. They have been accused of destroying everything from marriage to the housing market to grocery shopping. They are frequently called narcissistic and entitled, and bashed for their constant desire for praise.

However, millennials are also a highly creative, diverse, and tolerant generation. They are less likely to care about factors like race or gender, and are more inclined toward activism. They recognize the necessity for social change, and are willing to be the change they want to see in the world. It might be easy to hate on millennials, but it’s undeniable that they’re doing great things, too.

But research might actually back up one negative claim about millennials: they’re not all that great at driving.

Millennials and Driving

According to research done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, they were the most likely age group to exhibit dangerous driving behavior like:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 10 to 15 miles per hour
  • Running red lights
  • Texting and driving
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana

The Role of Technology and Marijuana

88% of drivers within the age group admitted to speeding, running a red light, or texting behind the wheel within the past 30 days. Some of this is likely the fault of new developments in technology. While texting and driving remains an issue across all driving groups, millennials also use apps like Snapchat and Instagram. This presents even more driving distractions. Since many millennials have forgone tradition as they reach adulthood, it’s also possible that they are driving their own vehicles less and less, instead relying on ridesharing or public transportation. This means that they have less driving experience, which can contribute to reckless or negligence decisions on the roads.

Marijuana is also a big issue for millennial drivers. In the AAA study, 7% reported regularly smoking marijuana within an hour of driving. While marijuana is becoming less regulated, and even legalized for recreational use in some states, it can still have a negative impact on driving. It causes slowed reaction time, bad coordination, and distraction. Millennials may have more tolerant views toward marijuana, but that doesn’t mean they should drive while high.

A Fair Characterization?

Of course, all age groups can make risky and dangerous driving decisions. Not every millennial driver is making terrible choices on the road, and like with any other group, it’s unfair to characterize all of them based on decisions on a few. But as this study shows, the millennial love for technology and progressive ideals might not always mesh with driving. What do you think? What’s your experience with millennial drivers — can you defend them, or you do absolutely agree?


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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