Recent Research Exposes Risky Driving Behavior among US Drivers
Each year, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducts a survey of drivers across the US to discover their opinions on driving trends and traffic laws, as well as which unsafe driving habits they themselves practice. This year’s survey results were recently released. They show a troubling amount of self-reported dangerous driving behavior, especially among young millennial drivers.
Study surveys drivers from all areas and ages
The AAA Foundation surveyed drivers from across the country who were age 16 and up and who had been on the road within the past 30 days. The survey was conducted in August and September of 2016. Drivers were asked about their opinion on a number of current and future roadway safety laws, such as distracted and drunken driving laws, as well as speed reduction strategies. The survey also asked the drivers to estimate how often they practiced certain unsafe driving habits themselves, such as driving after drinking alcohol or sending a text while behind the wheel.
Many drivers support aggressive safety laws
Considering the prevalence of motor vehicle accidents on American roads, it’s unsurprising how many survey participants either had been injured or known someone who had been injured in an auto accident. One in five survey participants reported having been involved in a serious crash, and one in nine reported being injured. One in three described having a friend or family member who had been seriously injured.
The majority of drivers agree that sending texts or emails while driving is a dangerous habit. 81% of respondents considered it to be a serious threat to safety to email or text behind the wheel, and 88% of drivers supported a ban on texting while driving. That said, 40% of drivers had read a text or email while driving, and 31% had sent one, within the past 30 days. Nearly 93% of drivers said it was unacceptable to drive through a traffic light which had just turned red if it had been safe to stop. That said, almost 36% of respondents had driven through a red light under these circumstances in recent weeks.
Young millennials report the most dangerous behavior
Among all the age groups surveyed, drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 reported committing the highest number of unsafe behaviors while driving and were the least receptive to safety laws that would target unsafe driving. These young millennials were the most likely to report that they had read or written a text while driving, and they were also more likely to find it acceptable to text while behind the wheel. Additionally, these drivers were less likely to be in favor of laws that would limit or punish distracted driving than were other age groups sampled.
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