Habits of Millennial Drivers
As Millennials age into a powerful demographic of young adults, their older coworkers, managers, and neighbors have begun to discuss how this new generation is different from all others that came before. We've heard about how tech-savvy they are, how they prefer text communication to speaking, and how they expect more from their employers, but very little about what it's like to live with them through normal daily tasks like commuting to and from work. The fact of the matter is that even the youngest millennials are now legal drivers and are joining the rest of the adult world out on the roads and their driving habits are now everyone's concern.
Using Devices in the Car
The millennial affinity for technology and mobile communication doesn't stop when they get behind the wheel. Young drivers are notorious for using navigation devices with ease but they also have a terrible reputation for the risky behaviors of talking and texting while driving. Many of them learned this behavior from their busy boomer parents. However, while boomers vary wildly in device adaptability, it's a rare millennial that drives without mounted phone or tablet handy.
Guilt Free Speeding
Speeding has long since been a problem with overconfident motorists of every generation. From mid-life crisis hot rods to little old ladies from Pasadena, Americans love to drive fast. So why is it that Millennials have such bad reputation for racing down the highways or running red lights in comparison to previous generations? Older people, when pulled over or asked about their speeding, often display guilt and knowledge that what they did was wrong. Millennials, on the other hand, generally consider speeding to be a fact of life and are unabashed to admit that they speed without the usual signs of guilt.
Calling Roadside Assistance
Far fewer millennials than members of past generations are comfortable working on their own cars, even for minor maintenance tasks like refilling the windshield wiper fluid or changing a flat tire. This means that they are much more likely to call for roadside assistance and take their vehicles in for maintenance. Their attitudes on car repair most likely stem from busy boomer parents who didn't have time to spend with them in the garage and the increased emphasis on college careers for their generation.
Constant Ride Sharing
The sharing economy and overall lower wages for millennials has resulted in a culture of ride sharing, carpooling and public transportation. A smaller percentage of millennials can afford their own cars those that do will often get involved in one or more sharing networks like Uber, Lyft, or Grub Hub. In many cases, if you see a Millennial on the road with one or more passengers, there's a good chance they're earning a little extra money and trying to complete gig missions quickly. This could easily be another reason our youngest drivers are known for moving quickly.
Driving Hybrid Cars
Every generation becomes recognized for the kinds of cars they prefer and Millennials are no exception. While many people are jumping on the fuel-efficient bandwagon of hybrid cars, millennials have shown a strong preference for them. In 2012, a survey found that 60% of millennials would buy a hybrid rather than a regular car or truck.
Millennials are being considered one of the most dangerous generations currently behind the wheel due to their affinity for devices and their casual disregard for the official driving laws. Whether or not this is a fair characterization or simply a sign of the world they grew up doesn't seem to be up for debate. If you are a millennial in need of a crash course in driving safety and etiquette, it may be time to brush up on defensive driving best practices and how to respectfully follow both the legal and unspoken rules of the road.