JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Even though a majority of drivers believe they could cause serious injury to themselves or others by engaging in risky behaviors like texting and driving, speeding, and running red lights, they do it anyway. That’s what recent survey results from AAA shows.
The foundation is now using the survey results to warn and remind drivers as they return to the roads from the pandemic, defensive driving may play a bigger role than ever in maintaining your own safety. A spokesperson is now urging driver to think of the roadways like they do a pandemic.
“We need to remember that we are all ‘in this together’ when it comes to safety on the road as well,” spokesperson Mark Jenkins said.
The fall back into dangerous driving habits was made apparent in a national survey conducted before COVID-19 closures. It shows a significant gap between what drivers consider dangerous and what they report doing themselves. It reveals that drivers perceive distracted, aggressive, drowsy and impaired driving as dangerous, but many admitted to engaging in at least one of these behaviors within 30 days of the survey.
The survey data is from a sample of 2,714 licensed drivers ages 16 or older who reported driving in the 30 days before the survey, which was administered between Sept. 6 and Oct. 8, 2019.
To keep everyone safe on the road, AAA recommends these safety tips:
- Out of sight, out of mind. Stow your smartphone away, turn it to airplane mode, or activate call/text blocking features like Apple’s Do Not Disturb.
- Slow down. Drivers tend to overestimate time saved by speeding. You’d have to travel 100 miles to save roughly 5 minutes, moving at 75 mph instead of 70 mph. Speed kills and isn’t worth the cost.
- Stay alert. Get adequate rest and stop driving if you become sleepy. Fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment, and vision, causing people who are very tired to behave in similar ways to those who are drunk.
- Drive sober. If you consume marijuana, alcohol, or use potentially impairing prescription medications, then don’t drive. And if you’re going to drive, then don’t consume these substances. If you are taking prescription medications, visit Roadwise Rx to learn if they can impair driving.
- Watch for vulnerable road users. Biking and walking have soared in popularity this year, and it is the responsibility of every driver to watch and share the road safely with cyclists and pedestrians.
In addition to remembering safety tips, AAA recommends that drivers make sure their vehicle is ready to roll by having it inspected at a trusted and reputable mechanic shop.