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AAA Releases Traffic Safety Culture Index for 2014

INDIANA, (WOWO): A new survey suggests too many people admit they regularly speed, run red lights, use distracting devices or drive drowsy, despite the fact that one in three have a loved one who has been seriously injured or killed in a crash.

The AAA Travel Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index further finds that unsafe behaviors persist even though one in five drivers have themselves been involved in a serious crash, and one in ten has been seriously injured.

In the the last 30 days, more than a third of drivers admit to running red lights, yet 55 percent say it is a very serious threat and nearly 75 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

When it comes to speeding, nearly half admit to going more than 10 miles over the speed limit and more than a quarter admit to texting while driving, despite the obvious safety threat.

  1. Speeding (10+ mph) on residential streets: Nearly half of drivers report speeding (44 percent), yet 65 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

  2. Drowsy driving: About 3 in 10 drivers (29 percent) admitted to drowsy driving, yet 45 percent say it is a very serious threat and 81 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

  3. Texting/emailing: More than a quarter (27 percent) of drivers report typing or sending a text or email, yet 79 percent of drivers say it is a very serious threat to safety and 84 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

When it comes to specific distracted driving behaviors in the past 30 days:

  1. 2 in 3 drivers reported talking on their cell phone

  2. 1 in 3 drivers reported talking on their cell phone often

  3. 1 in 3 drivers admit to reading a text message or email

The findings also offer insight about drivers’ attitudes related to cognitive distraction. Two out of three drivers believe hands-free phone use is acceptable, and nearly half (46 percent) of drivers who report using speech-based in-vehicle systems say they do not believe these systems are at all distracting. These results are prevalent despite extensive research indicating that hands-free devices can lead to cognitive distraction.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety issued its first Traffic Safety Culture Index in 2006. The 2014 report can be found here: aaa.foundation.org

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