Millennials have a precarious relationship with cars. Many claim that they don’t need cars, although a new study shows that they buy used cars. Once they get cars they are on the top of list for dangerous driving behaviors and some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable.
Risky Driving Business
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that 88 percent of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days, earning the top spot of worst behaved U.S. drivers. These dangerous behaviors ― which increase crash risk ― included texting while driving, red-light running and speeding. These findings come as U.S. traffic deaths rose to 35,092 in 2015, an increase of more than 7 percent, the largest single-year increase in five decades.
- Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.4 times as likely as all drivers to report having driven 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.
- Nearly 12 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, compared to less than 5 percent of all drivers.
Red- Light Running
- Nearly 50 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported driving through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely, compared to 36 percent of all drivers.
- Nearly 14 percent of drivers ages 19-24 reported feeling that it is acceptable to drive through a light that just turned red, when they could have stopped safely, compared to about 6 percent of all drivers.
Texting While Driving
- Drivers ages 19-24 were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to report having read a text message or e-mail while driving in the last 30 days (66.1 percent vs. 40.2 percent).
- Drivers ages 19-24 were nearly twice as likely as all drivers to report having typed or sent a text message or e-mail while driving (59.3 percent vs. 31.4 percent).
“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,”said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director.
By rank and by age group, the percentage of drivers who reported engaging in speeding, red light running or texting behind the wheel in the past 30 days include:
- Drivers ages 19-24: 88.4%.
- Drivers ages 25-39: 79.2%.
- Drivers ages 40-59: 75.2%.
- Drivers ages 16-18: 69.3%
- Drivers ages 75+: 69.1%.
- Drivers ages 60-74: 67.3%.
Millenials Buy Cars Anyway
A separate new study shows how millennials value cars and rental vehicles. “Millennials Behind the Wheel,” by Crowtap reports that practicality is the catalyst for millennial vehicle purchasing decisions and that it is driving behavior. Whether renting or buying, millennials are seeking a practical choice for either their short or long-term investments. They trust online reviews and.
The study found:
- Millennials are buying cars rather than investing in rental cars, and are buying more used cars than new.
- Millennials in both urban and suburban areas are purchasing vehicles, usually used. 86 percent bought cars, compared to a combined 14 percent who leased or rented a vehicle.
- Used car sales under $25,000 made up 65.9 percent of millennial car owners.
- 89.6 percent of millennials currently living in urban areas are planning to buy a car in the future, while 76 percent of current car owners plan to own between 1 and 6 more cars in their lifetime.
- Cost, space and environmental efficiency matter the most to both millennial buyers and renters.
- When tallying the survey, they found Millennials’ renting and buying decisions are driven by trust.
- Both urban and suburban millennials base their vehicle decisions on trust, including online reviews and recommendations from friends and family.
- When renting, 39.8 percent of millennials refer to online reviews from other drivers, and 31.5 percent refer to recommendations from friends and family. When buying, 44.7 percent rely on online reviews from other drivers, while 50 percent rely on recommendations from friends/family.
- Test driving guides 56.7 percent of purchasing decisions when buying. In those test drives, 68.8 percent prefer to have an expert on the vehicle they are driving in the car throughout, while 48.4 percent want to hear or see content from other who’ve bought that car previously.
Millennials view cars as a necessity rather than a luxury:
- Millennials in big cities are relying on cars for quicker travel (47.4 percent), quick trips to the store (43 percent) and for trips outside of the city (47 percent).
- Suburbanites use their vehicles for a mix of commuting, running errands, and weekend travel (65 percent). 26.7 percent use their car mainly for running errands, 15.3 percent only use their car to commute, and 15 percent mainly use their car for weekend travel.
“With millennials being a key demographic that auto brands want to reach, it’s vital for marketers to understand what they are looking for in vehicles, as well as what influences their buying and renting decisions,” says Peter Storck, SVP of research and analytics at Crowdtap. “Our research shows that millennials are buying used cars, compared to renting, and investing in practical, spacious and environmentally efficient vehicles. Moreover, trust is becoming an increasingly critical aspect when investing in a car. Brands and marketers can build trust throughout the car-buying journey by leveraging authentic peer-to-peer ratings & reviews.”