MADISON, NJ – A recent study by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind research center found that the longer drivers are on the road, the more likely they are to make unsafe driving decisions. Of those who drive 20 miles or more to work say they drive more than 65 mph on the highway most of the time or often compared with 53 percent of those with shorter drives.

“In 2009 alone, unsafe speed was a factor in more than 23,000 crashes on New Jersey roads,” said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “Long commutes can certainly be frustrating at times, however we have to recognize the serious danger that results from chronic speeding.”

Also, despite the fact driver with the longest commutes are traveling long distances, they believe they are less likely to get a speeding ticket than do those with shorter commutes (89 percent for those with long commutes vs. 80 percent for those with short commutes).

When it comes to distracted driving behaviors, for example using a handheld phone while driving, 19 percent with long commutes say they talk on the phone very often or sometimes compared with 17 percent for those with shorter commutes.

Lastly, the study noted that those with longer commutes are more likely to rate their driving skills as above average (76 percent) compared with those with shorter commutes (only 66 percent).

The study was co-sponsored by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. The survey was conducted by telephone from April 14 through May 17, using a randomly selected sample of 1,002 New Jersey residents aged 17 and over who report they drive regularly, including an oversample of drivers under the age of 30.

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