There were 35,092 traffic related deaths in the U.S. in 2015, representing the largest single year increase in five decades.
A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors are significant contributing factors to the rise in fatalities.
Lindsay Hawkins, from AAA of Western and Central New York, says 19 to 24 year-olds top the list of the worst behaved drivers in a recent survey.
"88 percent of them were either running a red light, texting while they were driving, or speeding. But that's not to say that all the other age groups weren't doing those same exact things. At least two thirds of the other age groups did admit to doing one of those dangerous behaviors in the last 30 days."
Hawkins says young millennials may be learning bad driving habits from their parents or other people they've observed behind the wheel.
"It's not an excuse that they're young, but it can be explained that their brains aren't fully developed and maybe they aren't realizing the consequences of their actions."
Nearly 50 percent of 19 to 24 year-olds in the study felt that it was acceptable to run a red light even if they could have stopped safely and almost 12 percent of that age group reported that it was okay to drive 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in a school zone.
AAA surveyed over 2,500 drivers ages 19 through 74 for the study.