Nearly 35% of drivers say they have typed a text message or email while driving, even though 95.6% agreed that the behavior is unacceptable, according to new findings from AAA.
In addition, most drivers (nearly 88%) said that distracted drivers are a bigger problem today than in pervious years, and distracted driving ranked as the top issue of growing concern among those surveyed.
The findings came from the AAA Foundation's 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index that explores driver attitudes and behaviors to safety issues ranging from speeding and seat belt usage to distracted, drowsy and impaired driving. Data was collected from a sample of 2,613 licensed drivers aged 16 and up, who said they have driven in the past month.
Overall, the survey findings conclude that while drivers desire a safer driving experience, they continue to engage in behaviors they recognize as unsafe.
In fact, most drivers (89.3%) reported engaging in at least one of the risky behaviors examined in the survey at least once in the past 30 days. For example, while 92% said that driving through a red light when they could have stopped is unacceptable, 43% admitted to doing so.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- In addition to distracted driving, respondents cited traffic congestion (74.5%), aggressive drivers (68.1%), drugged drivers (54.9%), and drunk driving (43.4%) as top issues of concern.
- In the past month, some 60.5% of drivers talked on a hands-free cellphone while 49.1% talked on a hand-held cellphone.
- Nearly 45% of drivers admitted to reading a text or email while behind the wheel.
- While only 40.9% of those surveyed support a ban on all cellphone use while driving, the majority (87.6%) support legislation against all texting and emailing, and 73.4% support a ban on handheld cellphone use while driving.
- Speeding is common, with half of drivers saying they drive 15 mph over the sped limit on freeways while 47.6% drive 10 mph over the limit on residential streets.
- Over 95% of motorists view drowsy driving as an unacceptable behavior, yet over 30% admit to driving while seriously fatigued at some point in the previous month.
- The majority of drivers (94.3%) consider driving after drinking alcohol a serious threat to their safety. Yet 20.7% admitted to driving when they thought they had consumed too much alcohol to drive safely.
- There is very strong support (nearly 80%) for requiring all DWI offenders to use alcohol-ignition interlocks on their vehicles, even for first time offenders.
Read the full report here.