As drivers, we all understand that distracted driving, risky and aggressive driving, drowsy driving, and impaired driving are not safe practices to engage in. But we must change our driving behaviors instead of simply understanding that these driving behaviors are unsafe. According to a AAA study, many drivers’ beliefs about driving safety contradict how they actually drive. I will discuss this study in greater detail here.
The AAA Study
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety completed a nationwide study in 2017 on drivers who are over 19. In the study, these drivers were surveyed on questions relating to distracted driving, risky and aggressive driving, and drowsy driving.
Almost half of those surveyed said that they used a hand-held phone while driving in the past month. However, less than 25% of those surveyed were more accepting of using a hand-held phone while driving. This is a problem because parents are often the ones teaching their teenagers how to drive, and if parents are preaching to not use a phone while driving, yet are actually using their phones, teenagers are getting the wrong message. The term “do as I say, not as I do” does not apply well to teenagers. In 2013, a study by the National Safety Council, over one million teenager car crashes involved the use of a phone.
In the same survey, over half of those surveyed reported that they drove 15 mph over the speed limit on the freeway and almost half reported driving 10 mph over the speed limit in a residential area. However, less than 25% of those surveyed believed that speeding that much over the speed limit was acceptable in either situation. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, speeding actually triples the odds of crashing. Ironically, most drivers who speed in residential areas, actually live in those areas, and speeding in residential areas is the most common citizen complaint to local police and city councils.
About 30% of surveyors also responded to driving while they were so tired that they had trouble keeping their eyes open while driving in the past month. However, almost all of the responders said that they view drowsy driving as an unacceptable behavior. Every year there are around 100,000 reported crashes that involve drowsy driving. Many drivers do not view drowsy driving as acceptable and do not want to be on the roads with other drivers who are drowsy, yet so many do it anyway because they do not want to stop and pull over on their way home from work or wherever they are going.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers will engage in driving practices that they actually recognize and perceive to be unsafe. For more information visit the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety complete study. If you have received a traffic ticket and need assistance fighting it, you can call our office at 203-567-6474 to speak with someone who can assist you.