Nearly two out of every five drivers in the United States believe it’s perfectly fine to use a hand-held cell phone while driving.
That’s according to the 2018 “Traffic Safety Culture Index” released in June by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA Foundation annually surveys drivers across the country to establish a snapshot of driver thinking, beliefs and actions.
The good news is that most drivers support laws that restrict texting while driving. The bad news is that a significant portion still believe it is okay for them to drive while using a cellphone.
One key finding of this newest survey is that 17 percent of drivers approve of talking on a hand-held cell phone. Even more – 20 percent – said that people “important to them” also approve of driving while making a call on a hand-held cell phone.
Other contradictions between safe driver beliefs and unsafe driver actions are uncovered in the AAA Foundation research.
Talking on Hand-Held Cell Phone While Driving
Nearly three-fourths of the surveyed drivers support laws that ban driving while holding and using a cell phone. About 90 percent back laws that prohibit typing, sending or reading texts while driving.
Yet, more than half of these same drivers admitted to talking on a hand-held cell phone within the last 30 days. And a significant amount of drivers (40 percent) said they had read a text while driving, while 32 percent confessed to typing a text or email over the same time period rather than focusing on the road in front of them.
The dangers of distracted driving are real and documented. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,166 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017, the most recent year final data is available.
Fatal Crashes Linked to Tired Drivers
Driving when overly tired is another chief contributor to catastrophic car and truck crashes. The National Safety Council points to federal statistics that show 100,000 police reported crashes each year that involve a drowsy or fatigued driver. These crashes with tired drivers kill more than 1,500 people each year.
Nearly all the drivers in the AAA Foundation survey reportedly understand these threats; 96 percent said drowsy driving was dangerous or extremely dangerous. But 27 percent also acknowledged that in the last 30 days they had driven while so tired they could “barely keep their eyes open.”
About the same percentage of surveyed drivers who said tired drivers were dangerous also said that drunk drivers were also very or extremely dangerous. While studies have shown drinking and driving is happening less, still 11 percent of these drivers said they had hit the road after drinking within the last 30 days.
The overall takeaway from this survey is that while most drivers acknowledge actions that are dangerous and negligent, many still engage in them anyway. And when they do, they place others in real peril.
If you were seriously injured or had a family member die in a car crash caused by another driver, a personal injury attorney can hold all those responsible accountable for their bad acts.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog July 23, 2019