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Drivers report dangerous behavior behind the wheel

Illinois drivers in the 19-to-24 age group may be among the most dangerous drivers although people in all age groups admit to dangerous driving behaviors according to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. However, in some cases, millennials were twice as likely as other age groups to say that certain dangerous driving behaviors were acceptable or to engage in those behaviors themselves. For example, 12 percent of millennials versus 5 percent of other age groups said that it was acceptable in a school zone to drive 10 mph above the speed limit.

The study also found that across all age groups, what people believed did not necessarily reflect how they behaved behind the wheel. For example, nearly all the drivers surveyed agreed that going through a red light when they could have stopped was unacceptable. However, 35 percent said in the previous month, they had run a red light. More than 78 percent said that it was unacceptable to read a text or email while driving, but about 40 percent said they had done so in the past month.

These behaviors can be deadly, and by annual percentage, traffic fatalities increased more in 2015 than they had in 50 years. There were 35,070 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in 2015, a 7 percent increase over the prior year.

Even this figure does not represent that toll that traffic accidents caused by negligent drivers can take because many cause serious, life-changing injuries even if they are not fatal. Traumatic brain injury, paralysis or amputation are only some of the catastrophic injuries that could prevent a person from ever returning to work again. If a victim does not get sufficient compensation from the insurance company to cover lost income from work and medical expenses, the situation can be even more devastating. Injured victims might want to talk to an attorney about their options including a civil lawsuit.

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