AAA Survey Reveals Dangerous Driving Behaviors on the Rise

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been committed to understanding America’s traffic safety culture through the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI) for over a decade. As the impacts of traffic safety on public health have evolved, responses from the annual TSCI can provide valuable insights into understanding public perceptions, attitudes, and engagement in unsafe driving behaviors. This data can then be considered in developing countermeasures to ensure safe roadways.

Survey participants were asked questions regarding perceived danger, risk of apprehension, social approval of dangerous driving, and support for laws and policies designed to dissuade these types of behaviors. In addition, they were asked to self-report their personal engagement in these types of behaviors.

According to the survey:

• 50.7% have driven 15 mph over the speed limit, up 12.4%
• 37.4% have driven while holding and talking on a cell phone, up 0.5%
• 36.2% have driven while reading a text or email on a cell phone, up 6.8%
• 28.2% have run a red light, up 10.1%
• 22.9% admitted to driving aggressively by switching lanes rapidly or tailgating, up 7.5%
• 18.8% drove when they were so tired it was hard to keep their eyes open, up 8.7%
• 7.3% reported having driven when they had enough alcohol that they thought they were over the legal limit, up 23.7%
• 5% have driven within an hour of consuming cannabis, up 13.6%

Despite admitted engagement in dangerous driving behaviors, survey participants also reported that they were aware of the dangers.

While almost 90% of participants said they felt that aggressive driving was very or extremely dangerous, nearly a quarter reported doing so in the last 30 days.

The same is the case for texting or reading while driving. While more than 90% believed this to be highly dangerous, over a quarter of participants reported sent a message while driving and more than a third reported having read a message while driving.

See the full fact sheet from the AAA Foundation HERE.