Survey shows ‘culture of indifference’ among drivers, AAA foundation says

Washington – Approximately 87 percent of participants in a recent survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported engaging in an unsafe driving behavior.

Nearly 2,500 drivers ages 16 and older who drove within the previous month were surveyed about their driving behaviors and attitudes for the foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index.

Drivers reported committing risky behaviors such as speeding; driving through red lights; failing to use a safety belt; and driving while distracted, drowsy or impaired.

Other survey results about respondents’ driving within the last month include:

  • 70 percent of drivers said they talked on a cell phone while driving. 31 percent reported doing so “fairly often or regularly.”
  • 42 percent read a text message or email while driving.
  • 32 percent wrote or sent a text or email while driving.
  • More than 80 percent said distracted driving is a more significant issue than three years ago.
  • 48 percent reported driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway.
  • 32 percent drove when they were so fatigued they had difficulty keeping their eyes open.
  • 18 percent said they didn’t use a safety belt.
  • 13 percent drove when their alcohol level might have been near or above the legal limit within the previous year.

In 2014, almost 33,000 Americans died in car crashes, and deaths increased 9 percent in 2015, according to the foundation, citing preliminary data. According to survey results, 1 in 3 drivers knew a friend or family member killed or seriously injured in a car crash, and 1 in 5 was in a crash that required hospital treatment.

“There is a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety,” Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a press release. “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. We’re asking every driver to make responsible decisions to make the roads safer for everyone.”

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