GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-2016 was the deadliest year on Colorado roadways in a decade, with the State Patrol reporting more than 600 fatalities.
Now, a new study from AAA finds that young millennials may bear some of the blame.
AAA’s most recent study found that 88% of people ages 19 through 24 participated in risky behaviors behind the wheel within the past 30 days.
In the past year on Colorado roadways, 605 people lost their lives.
“Which is pretty substantial, especially because the state has done a lot to prevent this kind of thing from happening,” according to Skyler McKinley, spokesmen for AAA.
AAA’s Foundation for Traffic safety surveyed Colorado driver’s and found out that the behaviors most likely to lead to a fatality on our roadway are also those behaviors that millennial’s are most likely to do.
According to the study, drivers 19 through 24 were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to have read a text message while driving in the last 30 days.
Which those in the driving industry find problematic.
“I can drive every single day and see somebody texting and driving, which is against the law, but yet they still do it,” says Thomas Trogdon, Manager at the Western Slope Driving Institute.
“Everybody agrees that texting and driving is dangerous and that people shouldn’t do it. At the same time, massive amounts, more than two-thirds of people in every age category text and drive, or run red lights or speed,” adds McKinley.
In fact, drivers 19 through 24 were 1.4 times as likely to driven 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, and nearly 50% reported driving through a light that had just turned red.
“What we found interesting is that the drivers ages 19 through 24 were actually more dangerous than the drivers between 16 and 18,” adds McKinley.
Whether the risky behaviors are due to young millennial’s willing to take more risks than others, or the fact that they’re used to always having the phone in their hand, driving is a privilege, not a right.
“You have to focus on the primary task of driving. You’re dealing with the gas, the break, the steering wheel, other people, roadway conditions, the roads turning, the lines; it’s a lot to deal with in just one little thing,” says Trogdon.
AAA surveyed 2,500 licensed drivers for this study.
Officials say that drivers should remember to slow down, never drive impaired, put your phone away and obey every single traffic signal.