Aware of Risks, Motorist Continue to Engage in Dangerous Driving Habits

A poll conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms a few facts for Kansas City crash lawyers. According to the poll, which included 2000 motorists, most American drivers are very aware that engaging in practices like cell phone use while driving, speeding and running red lights is dangerous, but they continue to do so anyway.

The report has been published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and provides a fascinating glimpse into the disconnect that exists between awareness of traffic safety hazards and actual driving conduct. For instance, about 92% of the respondents in the survey were on board about the accident risks from cell phone use while driving. They were aware that this increases the risk of an accident, but that didn’t stop approximately 24% of them from talking on the cell phone while driving at least once over the past 30 days.

A similar disconnect was seen in other traffic safety areas too.

  • When it came to speeding, two thirds of all respondents in the survey said that driving 15 miles above the posted speed limit was dangerous, but 46% reported doing so over the past 30 days.
  • 93% of the drivers believed that running red lights is dangerous, but one third admitted that they had done so.
  • When it came to drowsy driving or driving while sleepy, an overwhelming majority of the respondents – more than 98% – believed that it was highly dangerous to be driving in a fatigued state. However, 25% admitted that they had driven while they were too sleepy to do so.
  • 96% of the respondents found it unacceptable not to use a seat belt, but about one in every four drivers admitted that they had driven without a safety belt over the past 30 days.
  • Just about every respondent in the study found driving under the influence particularly reprehensible, but 14 % admitted they had driven in an intoxicated state over the past month.

As a Kansas City crash lawyer, it has become evident that in spite of legislation, education and awareness campaigns, much of highway safety depends on personal responsibility and a firm handle on the consequences of dangerous driving.