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New AAA Study Reveals Nearly All Drivers Engage in Risky Behaviors

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently published alarming statistics about driver safety. It found that 87 percent of all drivers engage in one high-risk behavior, such as using a cell phone behind the wheel.

The survey polled 2,442 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days. The respondents were asked about their attitudes and behaviors related to driver safety, including driving while distracted, impaired driving, drowsy driving, speeding, running red lights, or not wearing a seatbelt.

“There is a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The vast majority of motorists believe they are more careful than others on the road, though most of them are not making safe decisions while behind the wheel.”

The survey results are particularly concerning in light of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recent report of traffic deaths. As we previously discussed, NHTSA’s preliminary estimates project a nine percent increase in driving fatalities for 2015.

The AAA Foundation also found that one in three drivers have had a friend or relative seriously injured or killed in a crash. In addition, one in five have been involved in a crash that was serious enough for someone to go to the hospital. Below are the survey’s findings regarding several common unsafe behaviors:

  • Distracted Driving: More than 2 in 3 drivers (70 percent) report talking on a cell phone while driving within the past 30 days. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (31 percent) report doing this fairly often or regularly.
  • Speeding: Nearly half of all drivers (48 percent) report going 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway in the past month, while 15 percent admit doing so fairly often or regularly.
  • Drowsy driving: Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32 percent) say they have driven when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) admitted doing this more than once during that time.
  • Red light running: More than 1 in 3 drivers (39 percent) admit to having driven through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely during the past 30 days. About 1 in 4 drivers (26 percent) reported doing this more than once during that time.
  • Seatbelt use: Nearly 1 in 5 drivers (18 percent) report driving without a seatbelt within the past 30 days, and more than 1 in 7 (15 percent) admit to doing this more than once.
  • Impaired driving: More than 1 in 8 motorists (13 percent) report driving when their alcohol level might have been near or over the legal limit within the past 12 months. About nine percent of drivers report doing this more than once over the past year.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a motor vehicle crash, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. After a serious car accident, we can advocate on your behalf to help hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve.