AAA Traffic Safety’s most recent research finds automobile drivers who have been in at least one car crash in the past two years are much more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding and texting, even when they think the law enforcement may catch them.
AAA annual Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI), reported behaviors, found that drivers perceive distracted, impaired and aggressive driving as dangerous. Nevertheless most admit to at least one of these behaviors in the 30 days before the survey. Furthermore, numbers were even higher for drivers involved in a recent crash:
- 50% of drivers involved in a recent car crash admit to talking on a cell phone while driving in the last month vs. 42% not involved in a car crash.
- 43% of those involved in a recent accident admit to texting while driving in the last month vs. 27% not in a crash.
- 39% of those involved in a recent auto crash admit to running a red light in the past 30 days vs. 30% that were not involved in a car crash.
The data shows that drivers are not changing their behavior even when it has resulted in a car or truck crash.
Of all dangerous driving tasks, drivers said these two were extremely or very dangerous:
- Driving when so tired, it was hard to keep your eyes open (96%)
- Driving while typing or sending a text message or an email (96%)
Nevertheless, these same drivers text when driving the wheel, many even believing there is a risk of getting caught by police for looking at (43.7%) or actually typing (42.7%) a text message.
Keep these safety tips to keep in mind:
- When driving keep your cell phone away, put it on airplane mode, or temporarily activate call/text blocking features. For example, Apple’s Do Not Disturb.
- Slow down. Drivers tend to overrate time saved by speeding. You would have to move 100 miles to save approximately five minutes, driving at 75 mph instead of 70 mph. Speed kills and is not worth the cost.
- Stay alert. Stop driving if you become tired because you could fall asleep. Fatigue impacts reaction time, vision and judgment. It causes people who are extremely tired to act in similar ways to those who are drunk.
- Only drive sober. Do not drink and drive.
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