Some 60% of U.S. drivers take full responsibility for their own bad driving habits, while 12% blame their friends and 28% blame family members for teaching them unsafe driving behaviors, according to a new survey from U.S. News & World Report.
The survey explores an array of risky behaviors behind the wheel, finding that road rage is the most common. A majority of drivers — 64% — admit to having experienced road rage while behind the wheel, while 27% say they have driven with passengers who act out.
For over two decades, speeding has been a factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Moreover, experts have noted a surge in speeding during the pandemic that has stuck with drivers right up to the present day.
It should come as no surprise then that more than half of drivers (51%) surveyed confess to speeding. Also noteworthy, 25% of those surveyed say passengers have pressured them to speed.
Other unsafe driving behaviors drivers admit to include failing to use their turn signals (30%), not wearing a seatbelt (28%), rolling through stop signs (27%), and driving with a pet in their lap (25%).
Drowsy driving is another risky behavior the survey identified. Some 37% of drivers admit to getting behind the wheel while feeling too tired. Nearly one in three (31%) say they have almost dozed off while driving, and 11% admit to falling asleep while driving.
NHTSA estimates that over 100,000 police-reported crashes due to driver fatigue occur each year. In 2020 alone, 633 people across the nation lost their lives in drowsy driving-related crashes, reports the government agency.
But for today’s drivers perhaps one of the worst habits is distracted driving, specifically as it relates to technology. Americans seem almost incapable of keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road when a cell phone or electronic device is nearby.
Some 40% of drivers say they look at their phone while at a red light, while 27% admit to texting while driving. What’s more, 12% of drivers surveyed say they will look at their phone if they get a message while driving, and 8% say they regularly look at their phone while driving.
Most alarming, approximately one-fifth of survey participants (22%) say they have been in a car accident caused by someone being on their phone.