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What are the risky behaviors drivers engage in -- despite knowing they’re dangerous?

Walnut Creek auto accident attorney

According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who were involved in crashes within the last two years are more likely to engage in risky driving behavior, despite being aware of the consequences.

“The frequency of drivers in the United States engaging in improper behavior is too high. While drivers acknowledge that certain activities behind the wheel, like texting, are dangerous, some do them anyway,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “We need to be aware of the serious consequences of engaging in these types of dangerous driving behavior and change course.”

The foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index found that many drivers perceived speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving and impaired driving as dangerous. Researchers surveyed 2,714 drivers ages 16 and older in the fall of 2019.

Drivers in the study admit to risky behavior

About 96 percent of those involved in the study considered drowsy driving and texting “extremely or very dangerous.” Yet, many drivers in the study engaged in at least one of these behaviors within 30 days of being surveyed.

For drivers who were recently involved in crashes, the number of risky driving behaviors were much higher. What’s worse, many of these drivers fail to improve their driving behavior after a crash.

The study found:

  • 50% admitted to talking on a cellphone within the past month in comparison to 42% who were not involved in crashes.
  • 43% admitted to texting and driving within the past month in comparison to 27% who were not involved in crashes.
  • 39% admitted to running a red light within the past month in comparison to 30% who were not involved in crashes.
  • More than 40% were aware of the risk of getting caught by police for sending or reading text messages.

In comparison to similar data collected in 2018, the recent AAA study found a slight decrease in risky driving behaviors. For example, talking on cellphones fell by about nine percent and drowsy driving and texting fell by about three percent.

“If you point to the dangerous driving behaviors of others that you sometimes do yourself, then you are the problem,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “I’m encouraged to see a slight shift toward safer driving behaviors, but we have more work to do. Stay focused on driving. This is a must.”

AAA offers tips on how to avoid risky driving behaviors

To help prevent crashes caused by risky driving behavior, AAA offers the following suggestions:

  • Place cellphones out of reach or disable calling, texting, and other features while driving.
  • Allow more time when traveling and never underestimate the danger of speeding.
  • Get off the road when feeling drowsy, and take a short rest, or avoid driving altogether.
  • Never get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, recreational drugs, or certain over-the-counter medications.
  • Seatbelts should always be worn.

Were you or a loved one injured in a crash with a driver who engaged in risky behavior? Our law firm can take legal action on your behalf. Contact Clancy & Diaz, LLP to find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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