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Drivers admit to distracted driving but still do not pay attention

Most drivers know that behaviors such as drunk driving, speeding, or using a cell phone while navigating the roadways are dangerous, yet many persist in doing them, mistakenly believing them to be socially acceptable. According to the New York Times, fatal car accidents are on the rise after years of decline, largely because of distracted driving. The number of road-related deaths in 2015 was 8 percent higher than the previous year. In surveys, Americans admitted not only to talking and texting but also using social media and even taking selfies behind the wheel.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported similar findings in its 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index. In a survey, drivers were asked to indicate how often they engaged in dangerous behaviors and whether they thought it was acceptable to do so. The general consensus seemed to be a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude toward distracted or careless driving.

Impaired or distracted driving habits

  • Universally, drivers disapproved of drunk driving. However, one in eight admitted that, at least once in the past year, they got behind the wheel when they thought their blood-alcohol level might be at or above the legal limit. More than 15 percent of these admitted to impaired driving in the past month.
  • Over two-thirds (68.6%) expressed disapproval of using a cell phone behind the wheel, yet 2 out of 3 admitted to talking on the phone while driving. Most drivers considered texting or emailing as threats to safety, while 14.1% viewed it as socially acceptable. However, almost a third of those surveyed admitted to typing texts, and 42 percent admitted to reading texts or emails while operating a vehicle.

Careless driving

Nearly half of drivers (48.4%) indicated that they had driven at least 15 mph over the speed limit in the past month; only one quarter of respondents approved of the behavior. A majority said it was unacceptable to drive 10 mph or more above the speed limit on a residential street. Nonetheless, 45 percent of them admitted to doing it anyway. Nearly all (93.5%) of those surveyed rated running a red light as unacceptable. Over 38 percent, however, admitted to doing just that in the past month. Nearly all motorists agreed that driving while drowsy is unsafe, yet nearly one-third (31.3%) admitted to driving when they could barely keep their eyes open.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by some one's careless driving, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman. We will help you at every step of the claims process so you can focus on your recovery.

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