AAA report reveals widespread admission of risky driving habits

The report exposes a disconcerting reality that a substantial portion of drivers, approximately a third, acknowledged participating in distracted or aggressive driving within the past month, illustrating the widespread prevalence of unsafe conduct behind the wheel.

News 12 Staff

Dec 1, 2023, 1:50 PM

Updated 232 days ago


The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's latest report discloses a concerning trend that a majority of drivers concede to engaging in perilous behaviors while on the road, with speeding emerging as the most prevalent habit.
Often, attitudes did not match actions, and only 41% of drivers surveyed fell into what AAA calls its "Safe Drivers" category. 
In other words, 6 in 10 of us admitted to unsafe driving, in particular, speeding. The survey categorized 27% of respondents as "Speeding Drivers."
"Despite acknowledging the dangers, some drivers continue to engage in potentially deadly behaviors, particularly speeding," said Dr. David Yang, president and executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "Understanding the different types of risky driving behaviors and the characteristics of drivers who engage in them is crucial for developing targeted interventions to achieve safe mobility."
According to the 2022 index, 93% of drivers said those who use a cellphone to text or email or read while driving are “very” or “extremely” dangerous. Drivers also agreed that somebody important to them would disapprove if they did it. However, 27% of drivers admitted they have sent a text or email while driving, 38% have handheld a phone during a call, and 37% read a text or email.
Some 83% of those surveyed said driving through a red light was "very" or "extremely" dangerous, while 89% condemned aggressively switching lanes or tailgating. Yet, fewer drivers consider speeding as a dangerous activity and had the “lowest perceived social disapproval,” with approximately half saying they have traveled 15 mph over the speed limit. 
“Many risky drivers in this study were classified into profiles that involved speeding behavior. Focusing on speeding drivers will deter other risky driving behaviors like impaired driving and red-light running. This traffic safety measure will have the greatest impact on safety,” said Yang.
The biggest concern for “very” or “extremely” dangerous driving is drowsy driving, with 93% agreeing this is bad. Nonetheless, in the past 30 days, 18% reported they have driven drowsy. 
And 94% said impaired driving is “very” or “extremely” dangerous. Out of those surveyed, 7% said they have driven after drinking alcohol, enough to qualify for a DUI.
In comparison, 70% of drivers are concerned that driving with THC in their system is “very” or “extremely” dangerous. Only 6% of drivers stated they have driven after using THC within an hour. That percentage is up compared to the TSCI numbers in the 2021 index.

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