If You Know a Driving Behavior is Dangerous, Would You Do it Anyway?

Feb 2013

If you know a driving behavior is dangerous, would you do it anyway? It seems like the answer to this question should be an obvious no. After all, everyone knows that auto accidents can be deadly, so why engage in behavior that ups your chances of becoming involved in a crash? Unfortunately, a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that there are many drivers who are aware that certain behaviors are dangerous but who are doing these things anyway.

Our West Virginia car accident lawyers believe that the results of this new AAA study are very important. They show how much room for improvement there is as far as drivers making smart choices. We urge everyone to take a look at the survey results and to make the commitment not to do things they know are dangerous when they drive.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Survey

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey is called the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture index. The survey asked drivers whether they viewed a specific driving behavior as bad; whether they thought that society as a whole disapproved of the behavior, and whether they engaged in the behavior. Here is what AAA found:

  • Most drivers said drinking and driving is met with strong disapproval and is extremely dangerous. Yet, 2.1 percent said that in the past month they may have driven while over the limit. In total, 14 percent of drivers said that at least once in their lifetime they may have driven while impaired.
  • 48.6 percent — almost half — of drivers said that using cell phones should be banned outright when driving, even if hands free devices were used. Yet, more than two-thirds of the drivers surveyed said they had chatted on a cell in the past month as they drove.
  • Almost every driver said that it was extremely risky to send emails or to send or read a text message as they operated their vehicles. However, one in four said they’d done one of these actions in the past month.
  • Speeding 15 mph or more over the limit on a highway was a behavior that 49.6 percent of drivers admitted to doing in the past month. However, only one in four drivers said they thought speeding was acceptable.
  • 38.4 percent of drivers had run a red light in the past month, although the majority of the drivers described this behavior as dangerous.
  • 45.9 percent of drivers had fallen asleep while driving one or more time in their lives, although, again, most drivers described drowsy driving as really dangerous behavior.

Unfortunately, the results of the AAA survey revealed that most drivers know these risky behaviors are dangerous and increase the risk of an auto accident. Yet, despite having this knowledge, drivers do not seem to act on it. Instead, drivers choose to do things that they know are dangerous and that are, in some cases, against the law.

These study results were disappointing and show that many drivers should take responsibility for making safer choices for themselves. Unfortunately, drivers who do things they know are dangerous don’t just risk their own lives. Innocent victims can be affected as well when a car accident occurs.

If you’ve been in an auto accident in West Virginia, contact the personal injury attorneys at Recht Law Office at 1-800-HURTLINE.

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