Crash rates in the U.S. are rising despite significant advances in safety. Is there anything that drivers can do to improve their odds of avoiding serious injuries or even death?
Of course! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the critical reason for crashes is human error in a full 94 percent of crashes. While this is a sobering statistic, it is also a hopeful one: It means that there are plenty of things we can do to avoid crashes, if we take the time to learn what those things are and to actually do them.
One great source for information about what people think versus what people do behind the wheel of a car is the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Annually, the Foundation conducts a national survey to compare driver views on traffic safety with driver behaviors, called the Traffic Safety Culture Index. And every year, the survey shows that people do not abide by traffic safety measures even though they see value in them.
Here are some key findings from the 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index:
- Distracted Driving: Nearly 70 percent of drivers disapprove of driving while talking on a handheld device, but more than two-thirds have done it in the last month. Similarly, almost one-third of drivers admitted to checking or sending email or texts while driving in the last month.
- Drowsy Driving: Almost one-third of drivers admitted to drowsy driving in the prior month even though 97 percent of them disapproved of doing so.
- Impaired Driving: Although nearly all drivers disapproved of drinking and driving, more than one in eight admitted that they had driven at or around the legal limit in the last year.
- Running Red Lights: Nearly 40 percent of drivers admitted to having run a stop light in the last month even though about 94 percent of them viewed doing so as unacceptable.
- Seatbelt Use: Almost 90 percent of drivers found it inappropriate to drive without a seat belt; however, about 18 percent admitted to doing so in the last month.
- Speeding: More people disfavored speeding in residential areas than on freeways. Even so, people tended to speed in both areas. For example, about half of drivers admitted to speeding on freeways in the last month although only one-fourth of drivers thought doing so was justifiable. Similarly, only about 11 percent of drivers approved of speeding in a residential area, but 45 percent admitted to having done so in the last month.
To reduce the risk of being in a crash, take matters into your own hands. The most important thing you can do is to use common sense: don’t do what you know you shouldn’t do.
If you or someone you love was injured in a crash in California, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco. We are passionate about our clients and our community. If you not sure, read what our clients have to say. All calls are free and confidential.