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Which Generation Has the Worst Car Drivers?

There are many opinions on who the worst car drivers on the roads are. Is it men or women? Younger or older drivers? Is it car-dependent? While you may have your thoughts on the matter, there is actual research that gives a little more insight into the truth behind who the worst drivers are. It turns out it’s not gender-based, either, but generational.

According to Insurify.com, four generations roam the roads: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. Typically, younger drivers are thought to be aggressive, rash, and tend to show little care for consequences, while older drivers get a rap for being too cautious, slow, and inattentive. But is this really the case? When it comes to the worst car drivers, the data sheds some light.

How the data was gathered

The report looked at overall infractions by age group as well as speeding and DUIs. They gathered this information from insurance application records, as drivers must disclose their driving history. That led to the group with the highest percentage of drivers with infractions on their records being awarded as the worst car drivers in America. 

The best drivers on the road

Perhaps not surprisingly, Boomers were the age group that won out for best drivers. This is the oldest set of drivers, those born from 1946-1963. They were the lowest in all areas except DUIs, where they scored 10% higher than the lowest age group, Gen Z. 

Still, it only came in at 1.01%, so it’s not a high amount of drivers. Speeding drivers in this age group made up 4.6%, while only 15.25% of Boomers had infractions or at-fault accidents on their record at all.

So, while they are the oldest of the bunch and might get made fun of for their slow ways and lack of ability to keep up with the times, they sure know how to drive. They even come in at less than half the national average for speeding, proving that sometimes, being slow is a good thing.

The worst car drivers around

If you’re surprised by the fact that it wasn’t the youngest group that won the prize of being called the worst car drivers, you’re probably not alone. But, it was, in fact, the Millennials that won that award.

Millennials are those born between 1981-1996, and they racked up 27.31% for drivers with infractions or at-fault accidents. Speeding tickets among these drivers came in at 13.60%, while DUIs happened with 2.53% of drivers.

Interestingly enough, those aren’t the only things they scored the worst in. They also were the most likely to run a red light and be charged with reckless driving. The data showed that Millennials were twice as likely to run those red lights as Gen X drivers and Boomers and 15% more likely to do so than Gen Z drivers.

And those reckless driving convictions? They come in at almost five times more likely than Boomers and two and a half more than Gen X drivers. Yes, they are definitely the worst car drivers in America.

Here’s what else the data showed

Overall, drivers in the United States are each ‘bad’ in their own way. No one is a perfect driver, after all. If you count the 22.75% of drivers that have at least one moving violation to their name or who have been found at-fault in an accident, there’s certainly room for improvement.

And with speeding being the most significant infraction listed, it’s surprising that only 10.65% of drivers actually speed. Perhaps the most surprising thing to learn is that drunk driving violations were the lowest in the youngest age group.

Gen X and Gen Z made up the middle ground. Gen X, or those born from 1964-1980, recorded 18.80% with infractions or at-fault accidents, 7.87% with speeding tickets, and 1.76% with a DUI. They were the closest in line with the national average, with nothing being a notable standout among the crowd.

Gen Z, the winners of the least DUIs out of the bunch, are those born from 1996-2004. They recorded a 25.37% infraction or at-fault accident score, with 13.98% being speeders (the one category they were the worst in) and only 0.91% having a DUI. These are your teen drivers, the youngest ones on the road.

What it all means

While the data can change as groups age, one thing is for sure. While the oldest drivers may be the best, the youngest drivers weren’t the worst, proving that it isn’t all about age. Oh, and if you’re wondering which gender is the safer driver, check out this report.