Worst behaved drivers on the road? AAA says ages 19 to 24

Dangerous millennial drivers

According to a survey conducted by AAA, young people between the ages of 19 and 24 are more likely to admit they read or send texts while driving. They’re also more likely to think texting while driving is acceptable and less likely to support laws against distracted driving, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. 

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When 24-year-old LeClaude Numa is not walking, he admits he has a bit of a lead foot.

“When you’re driving, how often do you speed?” Van Cleave asked him.

“I would say nearly all the time,” Numa said.

Numa said he’s racked up nearly a $1,000 in speeding tickets.

“Why not just slow down?” Van Cleave asked.

“Well, me personally, I think it has to do with the generation I’m in -- you know, millennials. We grew up with a lot of instant gratification,” Numa said.

New research from AAA ranks millennials like Numa, ages 19 to 24, as the worst-behaved drivers on the roads. Of the age group, 88.4 percent admitted to speeding, red-light running or texting while driving in the last 30 days.

That’s far worse than drivers 16 to 18, and older drivers - though more than three-fourths of drivers aged 25 to 59 admitted to bad behavior in the last month.

“There wasn’t one age group that really stood out as setting a good example behind the wheel,” said Jennifer Ryan from AAA.

She points out the dangerous behavior comes as regulators are trying to understand an alarming surge in traffic deaths over the last two years.

“People really have the attitude of do as I say, not as I do. So it’s OK for me to text behind the wheel, but it’s not OK for you to do that,” Ryan said.

Drivers 19 to 24 were found to be twice as likely as other drivers to send a text. Nearly half report running a red light when they could have safely stopped. Twelve percent say its OK to speed in a school zone, and as a whole, they’re 1.4 times as likely to go 10 miles over the limit - that’s where Numa says he caps his speeding.

“Does mom give you a hard time about this?” Van Cleave asked.

“Yeah, she does. She’s always in my ear. I can’t even drive with my mother in the car. She’s always, ‘You’re going too fast’ -- you know the whole deal, so, yeah, she really doesn’t like it,” Numa said.

“You know she’s right, though,” Van Cleave said.

“Yeah,” Numa said, chuckling. “I know she’s right.”

On Wednesday, the National Safety Council put the number of people killed on the road in 2016 at 40,000 -- the highest number in almost a decade. This also marks a 15-percent increase in the last two years. The group believes the spike is due to a combination of bad driving behavior, distraction and a need for stronger traffic laws.