A recent survey of self-reported driving behaviors indicates that red-lighting running, fatigued driving and alcohol or cannabis impaired driving have declined in this country over the last three years. But motorists are still engaged in other risky behavior such as speeding and using handheld phones.
Survey shows some improvements
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety issued this survey in Nov. which compared driving behavior from 2018 to 2020. While many risky behaviors decreased, the survey also revealed that motorists engaged in behavior that increased the odds for car accidents although they know that their family or friends disapproved of that risky conduct.
According to the survey, people engaged in dangerous driving at least once in a previous 3- day period with less frequency. This conduct included driving 15 mph over the speed limit, running red lights, aggressive driving, drowsy driving, driving while impaired by alcohol and cannabis and talking on a cell phone or reading text messages while driving.
Reckless driving during shut down
Fewer motorists drove in 2020 due to the shutdowns. But these drivers took more risks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that there were 38,680 traffic fatalities. This is a 7.2 percent increase and the highest number of deaths since 2007. This year is starting worse with an estimated 8,730 accident deaths in the first three months of 2020.
The reasons for these fatalities are still being studied. But data from the AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index indicates that some reckless driving remains high. Despite dropping since 2018, speeding still persists.
Motorists also continue to engage in risky distracted driving that is recognized as being dangerous and socially unacceptable. This includes driving while talking on a cell phone or typing or reading an email or texting.
AAA recommend safety precautions such as obeying speed limits. The amount of time saved by speeding is overestimated. Small speed increases raise the risk of death or injury.
Avoid distracted driving by putting your smartphone away and placing your PED on airplane mode. You may also activate call and text blocking features.
Do not drive after consuming marijuana or alcohol or if you are taking potentially impairing prescription medications.
Driving while fatigued affects reaction time, judgment and vision and has the same impact as driving while drunk. You may also fall asleep at any time.
Traffic accidents can cause serious injury or death. An attorney can help victims of a negligent or reckless driver, or their families seek compensation.