Earlier this year, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety issued a report about driving-related trends from 2016. When the report came out, many news outlets looked at a single point of information in the report and published headlines such as “Millennial drivers are the worst.” While the data point they picked appears to back up that assertion, that wasn’t the main point of the report, and those articles neglected a significant portion of the report and other important trends.
To make up for this, we took a closer look at the report and have outlined some of the most important overall findings below. We also focused particularly on age-related factors, with the aim of that focus being to balance out the coverage provided earlier this year.
Most people think they are better drivers
If news outlets were writing headlines about the portion of the report that asked about how drivers view their own driving abilities, they would likely have read “Everyone is a worse driver than he or she thinks.” While that oversimplifies the issue, it nonetheless is somewhat accurate based on the data in the report.
According to AAA’s survey, nearly 85 percent of drivers think that they are more careful on the road than other drivers. Based on the number of crashes that occur each year, as well as the other dangerous behavior that occurs as outlined in this report (even when it doesn’t cause an accident), it’s clear that many people are giving themselves too much credit regarding their true driving ability.
For example, 46 percent of those surveyed admitted to driving 10 mph over the speed limit on residential streets. That’s far from safe behavior, but the math (at least part of that 46 percent is included in the 85 percent of people mentioned above) shows that some of those people still think they are more careful than other drivers, despite these driving habits.
Ready to learn more? Check out Part Two of our series to read more analysis of the AAA report.