This article ( written by AAA) is important for all of us to read and take steps to change our behaviors if necessary.
About 87 percent of drivers engaged in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These disturbing results come as nearly 33,000 Americans died in car crashes in 2014, and preliminary estimates project a 9 percent increase in deaths for 2015.
- “The vast majority of motorists believe they are more careful than others on the road,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “though most of them are not making safe decisions while behind the wheel.”
Common unsafe behaviors include:
- DISTRACTED DRIVING – More than two in five drivers (42%) admitted to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days, while 12% reported doing this fairly often or regularly. Nearly one in three drivers (32%) admitted to typing or sending a text or email over the past month, while 8% said they did so fairly often or regularly. Distracted driving related to 3,000 deaths in 2014 and increased by 9% in 2015.
- SPEEDING – About 45% of drivers reported going 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street in the past 30 days, and 11% admitted doing so fairly often or regularly. Speeding related to 10,000 deaths in 2014.
- DROWSY DRIVING – Nearly one in three drivers (32%) said they drove when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days. Drowsy driving related to 6,400 deaths in 2014.
- RED-LIGHT RUNNING – More than one in three drivers (39%) admitted to having driven through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely during the past 30 days. Red-light running related to 697 deaths and 127,000 injuries in one year.
- SEAT BELTS – Nearly one in five drivers (18%) reported driving without a seat belt within the past 30 days. 50% of all vehicle occupants who died in a crash in 2013 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
- IMPAIRED DRIVING – More than one in eight motorists ( 13%) reported driving when their alcohol level might have been near or over the legal limit within the past 12 months. Impaired driving related to 10,000 deaths in 2014
The AAA Foundations annual Traffic Safety Culture Index identifies attitudes and behaviors related to driver safety, the survey data cited here came from a sample of 2,442 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days.