A national survey by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that Americans are not as concerned about drunken, drowsy and aggressive driving as they were four years ago. This is a surprise, as traffic fatalities have begun to increase.
The number of people who say texting or emailing behind the wheel is a very serious threat went down from 87 percent in 2009 to 81 percent in 2012. More than 80 percent of those surveyed classified texting while driving to be a “completely unacceptable behavior.” But one in four individuals admitted that they had engaged in this distraction within the previous month.
The reaction to talking on a cellphone has not changed much. Approximately 58 percent said they considered it a “very serious threat.” Interestingly, 68 percent said they had recently used a cellphone while driving.
AAA’s findings are based on 11,000 interviews between 2009 and 2012 with people of driving age. Some drivers were interviewed more than once.
Peter Kissinger, the president and CEO of the foundation, concluded that drivers don’t seem as concerned about threats to their safety behind the wheel. “A ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude remains common with many motorists consistently admitting to engaging in the same dangerous behaviors for which they would condemn other drivers,” he said.
Accident statistics show that drivers should not be so complacent. In 2012, more than 34,000 people died in traffic accidents, a 5.3 percent increase from the prior year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that this was the first annual increase in seven years.
The AAA survey found that the number of people who say that drinking and driving is a serious threat fell from 90 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2012. Drowsy driving was considered a serious threat by 71 percent in 2009 but only by 46 percent in 2012.
Some point to declining media attention to highway safety as a reason for drivers’ changing attitudes. Four years ago, a federal campaign sought to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Many of these messages have faded, potentially causing drivers to assume wrongly this issue has been resolved. At Joye Law Firm, our attorneys recognize that serious hazard posed by distracted driving, aggressive driving and drunken driving.
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Car accidents can happen in a split second. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a South Carolina automobile accident because of somebody else’s negligence, contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm.
Whether you need guidance on accidents involving distracted drivers, reckless driving or some other type of vehicle collision, call (888) 324-3100 or use our online form so our attorneys can offer you advice about your rights.