Young N.J. drivers speeding, drinking, texting more, study finds

A new study finds young drivers in New Jersey have some bad habits, and they’re getting worse.

The study conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety finds 64 percent of drivers under the age of 30 regularly speed on the highways. That’s far more than the 26 percent of all drivers who admit speeding.

Dan Cassino, a political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson, says younger drivers are also more likely to drink and drive.

“Eighteen percent of all drivers say they’ve driven after drinking alcohol. The youngest drivers, that’s 24 percent. That’s the most of any age group, and when they do drink and drive they drink more,” Cassino said. “So it seems like the young drivers are not only drinking and driving. They’re binge-drinking and then driving.”

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Cassino said younger drivers may engage in risky behavior behind the wheel because they don’t believe they’ll get in an accident or be stopped by the police.

“We know that younger drivers seem to be more likely to speed. So last year 56 percent of the youngest drivers said they regularly speed on highways,” Cassino said. “This year it went up by almost 10 points to 64 percent, and a third of those drivers that are speeding say that they routinely go 70 miles an hour on the highway.”

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