A news report published on AAA.com finds that distracted driving has become the greatest area of concern due to a new survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The annual Traffic Safety Culture Index shows that about 88% of drivers think distracted driving is a growing danger, topping other dangerous driving behaviors such as:
- Aggressive driving: 68%
- Drivers driving while on drugs: 55%
- Drunk drivers: 43%
According to the results of the AAA study, drivers who use their cell phones regularly while driving has increased by 46% since 2013. Almost half of the drivers (49%) report using a hand-held phone while driving, and almost 35% have sent a text while driving. 58% of drivers admit that talking on a cell phone while driving is a very serious danger, and 78% of people feel texting is more dangerous. A new AAA Foundation study shows drivers who talk on a cell phone while driving are four times more likely to cause an accident, and drivers who text and drive are eight times more likely to cause a crash.
Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s executive director, stated that there are tens of thousands of accident-related deaths every year, and we need to find new ways to limit driving distractions. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s work help find insights into drivers’ behaviors and attitudes toward traffic safety. Drivers in the survey stated that they felt the problem of distracted driving has grown over the past three years. 50% of drivers reported that they regularly witness other drivers texting while driving.
According to government estimations, distracted driving causes only 14% of all motor vehicle crashes. AAA Foundation’s past research found that teen drivers are the most vulnerable driving population. Teens account for about 58% of all traffic accidents.
Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, stated that the number of driver distractions has increased, and it is important to better educate drivers on distracted driving dangers. Moreover, he also stated that most drivers realize the dangers of taking their eyes off the road, but they engage in these deadly distracting behaviors anyway.
Anything that requires a driver to take their eyes off the road ahead must be avoided when the vehicle is moving. AAA urges motorists to be responsible when driving. AAA also recommends that drivers:
- Put aside electronic distractions while driving.
- Adjust seats, climate controls, music, and mirrors before driving.
- Secure children and pets inside the car before driving.
- Avoiding messy foods that can cause distractions.
The new AAA survey results can be found in AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. The index identifies behaviors and attitudes related to driver safety. The AAA survey data was collected from a sample of around 2,600 licensed drivers who said they had driven a car in the past 30 days.
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