Drivers respond to questions about safety habits, road concerns, and personal experiences in AAA Foundation survey.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is known as a fee-based company that, among many things, offers roadside assistance services. But, the organization also has a foundation. As the non-profit arm of AAA, the AAA Foundation conducts extensive research on traffic safety. The AAA Foundation recently completed an in-depth study of traffic safety and what drivers believe and compared that to their actual behaviors, and the results are pretty stunning.
Drivers Admit to “Do As I Say, Not as I Do” Road Mentality
AAA gathered the data for the Traffic Safety Culture Index after surveying more than 2600 licensed drivers age 16 and older who had driven within the past 30 days. The survey sought to find out what drivers think about today’s environment when it comes to traffic safety. Those surveyed were questioned on many topics, such as distracted driving, aggressive driving and drowsy and impaired driving. Participants perceived these issues to be serious threats to their safety, but a number of them admitted to the behaviors.
95 percent of participants said it was dangerous to text while driving, yet 1 in 3 of those same people said they had done just that in the past 30 days. Even though a majority said drinking and driving creates a serious threat to their safety while on the road nearly 14 percent of those same individuals admitted to driving when they had had too much to drink; they even admitted to driving while believing their BAC was near or over the legal limit. This behavior is why the AAA Foundation noted the survey results demonstrate a “do as I say, not as I do” environment among drivers and it hopes that its research will start changing that attitude.
Distracted Driving Greatest Concern on Roadways
When pressed to name the one issue that they believed creates the most dangerous situation on the road today, participants in last year’s study named distracted driving as a major concern. And for a good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, auto accidents involving distracted driving killed more than 3400 people in 2016. Another 562 pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-vehicle occupants died due to a distracted driver the same year. In May of 2018, a Texas teen wanted to take a selfie while driving. She unbuckled her seat belt and lost control of her vehicle and crashed. She was ejected from the car and died on the scene.
Colorado state numbers show that the state has a distracted driving issue. Transportation officials note that there are, on average, 40 Colorado auto accidents a day due to distracted driving. In 2016, 67 lives were lost due to distracted driving.
Driving takes a lot of skill, so when behind the wheel, everyone must focus on one thing – the road in front and its surroundings. Put down the phone, tune out all the other distractions, and focus on driving. It will keep you and others on the road safe.