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Many drivers ‘engage in potentially deadly behaviors’ despite dangers: survey

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Roughly 3 out of 5 U.S. drivers admit they’ve engaged in unsafe behaviors behind the wheel, results of a recent survey show.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety surveyed nearly 2,500 licensed drivers about their driving behaviors and attitudes. The nonprofit used the findings to classify six types of drivers, with 41.2% qualifying as “safe” – meaning they rarely “engaged in any risky driving behavior.”

The drivers who said they predominantly engaged in speeding (22.7%) represented the next largest category, followed by distracted and aggressive drivers (17.3%), distracted drivers (15%), and impaired drivers (1.3%). People who reported engaging in each of the risky behaviors in question were categorized as the “most dangerous drivers” and accounted for 2.4% of all the respondents. Twenty-seven percent said they’ve sent a text or email while driving, while 59% indicated they had used hands-free technology while behind the wheel.

Results show a similar ethic within other categories, as the drivers proceeded with their risky behavior despite knowing it was unsafe and/or illegal.

However, “fewer drivers perceive speeding as dangerous, and speeding behaviors have the lowest perceived social disapproval of all the examined unsafe driving behaviors,” the survey states.

“Despite acknowledging the dangers, some drivers continue to engage in potentially deadly behaviors, particularly speeding,” David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a press release. “Understanding the different types of risky driving behaviors and the characteristics of drivers who engage in them is crucial for developing targeted interventions to achieve safe mobility.”

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