This national problem was thought to be among only younger drivers, but a recent report by AAA shows risky behaviors behind the wheel spans all ages.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that, in a poll by AAA, 67% of all drivers have admitted to engaging in some sort of dangerous behavior while driving, including texting, speeding, or running a red light within the past month. Of the drivers involved in the poll, 81% stated that those types of behaviors pose “a very serious threat” to their safety.
The National Safety Council reports that traffic deaths increased 14% over 2015 – 2016. Fatalities rose 6 percent in 2016 alone, reaching approximately 40,200 deaths compared to 37,757 deaths in 2015. The increase comes after statistics have been trending downward since 2007. This is the highest two year increase on record since 1963-1964 despite the improvements made in safety across all auto manufacturers.
An ad by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows just how quickly an accident can happen, and how fatal it can be.
While any use of devices (smartphones, the radio, gps, etc.) while driving are dangerous and increase the risk of an accident, texting (or emailing) and driving is particularly dangerous as it distracts in the three key ways crucial to driving by visually, manually, and cognitively pulling your focus from driving.
Unfortunately, many drivers do not remedy their behavior until distracted driving affects them personally, but the best way to encourage safety is to set a good example, especially for your young drivers. If you make an effort to drive safer, and undistracted, you will instill that message in your young drivers as well. Make your car a no phone zone, stay Alive, Don’t Text & Drive.