If you guessed that cell phones are California’s biggest traffic
safety problem, give yourself a pat on the back. According to the results
of the second annual Traffic Safety Survey conducted by the California
Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), California drivers ranked cell phone talking
and texting as the biggest safety problems on the road in 2011.
The two road hazards ranked significantly higher than the top problems
of 2010, which were speeding and aggressive driving. In the latest 2011
results, speeding and aggressive driving dropped to 17.6 percent, while
those worried about drivers using cell phones more than doubled to 38.8
percent. Drunk driving was next on the list, replacing last year’s
“bad roads,” with 12.6 percent of respondents considering
it most dangerous.
With respect to distracted driving, the number of drivers who reported
using handheld phones for either talking or texting dropped from last
year, while those who say that they have been hit or nearly hit by someone
talking or texting on a cell phone increased.
Additional results include:
- Drunk driving was the biggest safety concern of the 18-24 year old age
group, at 30.3 percent, up from 11.5 percent in 2010. This age group also
led in those who report that they have recently had too much alcohol to
- A larger percentage of drivers (40.4 percent) say they talk less on their
phones while driving than last year (34.5 percent) because of the hands-free law.
- 45.8 percent say that they have made driving mistakes while talking on
cell phones. 60.1 percent say that they have been hit or nearly hit by
other drivers who were talking or texting.
- A higher percentage of 18-24 year olds than any other age group think that
texting while driving is a serious distraction, yet more of them actually
do text and drive than any other age group.
- There are differences between what Northern and Southern Californians think
are the biggest problems. 33.2 percent of Southern Californians think
texting ranks high, while 25.7 percent of Northern Californians think
so. Similarly, 25.6 percent in the southland think drunk driving is the
biggest problem while 15.2 percent in the north rank it at the top.
- 25-44 year olds lead in hands-free cell phone talking, even though it is
no safer than hand-held talking.
- 71.9 percent think that the Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911 campaign
has helped police make more DUI arrests.
- 88.3 percent support the use of DUI checkpoints.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in aSan Diego
contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a