Survey finds drivers are not as safe as they think they are
On behalf of Gary Nitsche
A recent AAA driver survey is showing that unsafe driving behaviors are extremely common.
A recently released survey by the AAA Foundation shows that the vast majority of people have engaged in some form of dangerous driving behavior in the last month, according to Delaware State News. The survey found that 87 percent of drivers said they had engaged in distracted driving, impaired driving, drowsy driving, speeding, running a red light, or not wearing a seat belt at least once in the past 30 days. Given a rising number of traffic fatalities nationwide along with the leading roles distractions, speed, and impairment play in Delaware car accidents, the survey should serve as a reminder of how much room for improvement there is when it comes to driving safety.Unsafe driving
The nationwide survey includes a number of disturbing findings, including the fact that 70 percent of drivers say they have spoken on a cellphone while driving in the past month. Also, 42 percent say they have read a text message or email while driving in the last month, while 32 percent say they have typed or sent one. About 32 percent of drivers also say they have driven when they were so tired they had trouble keeping their eyes open at least once in the last 30 days.
The problems run beyond distraction and inattention, however. Close to half of drivers admit to driving at least 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway in the past month, with 45 percent saying they have driven 10 mph over the speed at least once on a residential street. Additionally, 39 percent of drivers say they have driven through a light that had just turned red despite knowing they had time to stop safely. Finally, 13 percent of drivers say they have driven at least once in the past month when their blood-alcohol level was either close to or over the legal limit.Dangerous driving
The prevalence of such bad behavior is creating a dangerous situation on roads and highways in Delaware and throughout the United States. Traffic deaths are believed to have risen about nine percent nationwide last year, for example, while distracted driving alone causes about 3,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. per year.
In Delaware, bad driving behaviors are leading causes of traffic accidents. According to the Dover Post, for example, driver inattention, fatigue, or distraction was the most common contributing factor in crashes in the state in 2014, being listed as a contributing cause in 5,324 accidents. Alcohol, meanwhile, was a factor in close to half of fatal accidents in the state in 2014. Speeding and disobeying traffic signals were also leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in Delaware in recent years.Personal injury law
The above survey should remind all drivers of just how dangerous the roads can be. For those who have been involved in an accident, it is important to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney may be able to help accident victims pursue claims for compensation, especially if the crash was potentially caused by another driver's negligence.