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AAA study reveals much about motorists’ safety-related perceptions

Over the past few years, traffic fatality rates in the U.S. have begun to spike among certain populations. Despite this heightened danger, a recent study conducted by AAA indicates that American motorists are significantly less concerned about potential accident risk factors. This perception-related trend may be cause for serious concern. When motorists are lulled into a false sense of security regarding their potential for being involved in car accidents, they may behave less attentively and inspire accidents themselves.

According to the AAA survey, motorists are far less concerned about aggressive, drunken and drowsy driving risks than they were when AAA conducted a similar survey four years ago. They are also six percent less concerned about distracted driving, which is now the number one contributor to preventable car accidents across the country. Astonishingly, even though four out of every five drivers surveyed consider the choice to text and drive to be completely unacceptable, 25 percent of respondents admitted to engaging in this behavior over the previous month.

AAA’s president and CEO recently explained the true significance of the survey’s findings. He noted that, “Motorists may be growing more complacent about potential safety risks behind the wheel. A ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude remains common with many motorists consistently admitting to engaging in the same dangerous behaviors for which they would condemn other drivers.”

It is critical that American motorists remain educated about safety hazards plaguing America’s roads and about behaviors to avoid so that they do not become part of the problem. The moment that we believe we are immune from accidents because our dangerous behavior is somehow uniquely acceptable is a moment that we become significantly less safe than we were when we remained cautious.

Source: KJRH, “AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety releases survey results of distracted, bad driving habits,” Aug. 22, 2013