Drivers know risks, but continue to drive dangerously

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By now we all recognize the risks of dangerous and distracted driving, but a recent study from AAA suggests we still do it anyway.

The research reveals we don’t believe bad things can happen to us, despite the fact that one in three has a loved one who has been hurt or killed in a crash.

For example, more than a third (36 percent) of drivers admitted to running red lights, yet 55 percent say it is a very serious threat and 73 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

Distracted driving also yielded similar results, as more than a quarter (27 percent) of drivers reported typing or sending a text or email, yet 79 percent of drivers said it is a very serious threat to safety and 84 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

“It is very disappointing that we continue to see a prevailing attitude of ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ where large numbers of motorists seem to recognize the risks of certain behaviours but do them anyway,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Two out of three drivers in the study also believed hands-free phone use was an acceptable alternative, and nearly half of drivers who reported using speech-based in-vehicle systems say they do not believe these systems are at all distracting.

AAA’s own studies, however, have shown that hands-free systems can be even more of a distraction than speaking on a handset.

“Despite the growing body of research that offers evidence about the possible dangers of using hands-free technologies, most drivers don’t understand the risks and continue to use these technologies,” said Kissinger.

The results from the study are indeed quite disheartening, and perhaps, don’t surprise some at all. But the underlying question that remains unanswered is what exactly it will take for people to change their behaviour – and make them feel a little less invincible.

News Source: AAA

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