Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that almost one-third of all Americans have either a friend or a relative who was in a car accident that caused serious injury or death. Yet, even though many people have first-hand personal experience with the consequences of auto accidents, there are a lot of drivers out there who knowingly and intentionally engage in driving behaviors that they are fully aware increase their chances of becoming involved in an accident.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has recently released the fifth annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which summarizes attitudes about safe driving and interviews people on their actions when it comes to certain dangerous driving behaviors. Our Phoenix, AZ accident lawyers urge all drivers to take a look at AAA's survey and to think about their own driving behavior and how they can improve their safety efforts.
Drivers Knowingly Engage in Driving Behaviors They Describe as Risky
The AAA survey asked drivers about their own attitudes toward certain types of driving behaviors, as well as about whether they engaged in those behaviors. What AAA found was that a lot of drivers did things that they described as dangerous and that they described as likely to garner public disapproval. For example:
- Drinking and driving was universally viewed as something with a high level of social stigma attached and as something that is very dangerous. However, when asked if they'd ever driven when potentially over the limit, 14 percent said that they had done so at some point in their lives. 2.1 percent said they'd done so in the past month.
- 66.1 percent of people indicated they felt some social disapproval toward drivers who used a cell phone when driving but more than half of drivers thought that others wouldn't see anything wrong with the behavior. Most agreed that talking on a cell was dangerous and 48.6 supported a total ban on cell phone use including hands-free use when driving. Yet, more than two-thirds said they talked on their phone at least once in the past month while driving and almost one-third said they regularly talked on their phone.
- Only 18.9 percent of drivers didn't perceive any social disapproval toward texting and driving, and almost every driver indicated that texting and driving was really risky. However, 26.6 percent said that in the past month they had sent or typed a text or email, and 34.7 percent said they'd read a text or email while driving.
- Speeding was viewed as socially acceptable by one in four drivers as long as the speeding was occurring on a highway. Far more than one in four drivers, however, said they'd exceeded the highway speed limit by 15 miles per hour. In fact, 49.3 percent of drivers admitted to speeding in the past month.
- Although running a red was viewed as both socially unacceptable and dangerous, 38.4 percent had gone through a red light in the past month.
- 45.9 percent of drivers said they had fallen asleep driving at least once in their lives. When narrowing down the time frame to the past month, 2.6 percent had dozed off. Yet, almost all drivers thought drowsy driving was completely unacceptable.
If you've been injured in an accident, contact the Israel Law Group at (888) 900-3667 for a confidential consultation.