When It Comes to Traffic Safety, Americans Don't Practice What They Preach

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Almost all American motorists are unanimous in their belief that speeding, drunk driving and the use of cell phones while driving are extremely dangerous behaviors. However, that belief doesn't seem to make a difference to their driving practices. A survey of more than 3,100 people by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety finds a wide dichotomy in what Americans believe about traffic safety and what they actually do on the road.

• Almost all respondents believed that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was dangerous, but 14% admitted to driving under the influence at least once the previous year.

• 94% believed that using cell phones and text messaging while driving is dangerous, but in the past month, at least one third of them had read texts or e-mails behind the wheel, while a quarter of them had sent text messages while driving.

• At least 72% thought it was dangerous to drive more than 15 miles above the speed limit, but more than 50% had actually done so.

• Approximately 90% of the respondents found driving at excessive speeds on a residential street hazardous, but at least 25% had driven at high speeds on these roads.

• Almost everyone seemed to believe in the sanctity of red lights, and said that drivers must stop, if possible, when they see a red light. However, in practice, 37 percent admitted that they had run a red light.

• 90% of the drivers believed that drowsy driving was dangerous, and persons should not drive while sleepy. In practice, at least one third of the drivers admitted that they had dozed off at the wheel.

• Similar such difference between belief and practice was seen in the use of seatbelts. Almost all respondents said that seatbelts are important safety aids, but 25% had not used a seat belt in the past month.

When it comes to traffic safety, Los Angeles car accident lawyers would like to see more people actually practicing what they preach.


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