FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- In the wake of a projected 9 percent increase in 2015 traffic fatalities, a new AAA study has found an estimated 87 percent of drivers have engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving within the past month.
According to the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety, these results come as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the number of 2014 fatalities hit nearly 33,000. The agency also projects a 9 percent increase in auto deaths in 2015.
“There’s a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety,” said Peter Kissinger, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety president and CEO. “The vast majority of motorists believe they’re more careful than others on the road, although most don’t make safe decisions while behind the wheel.”
The full report is available online at www.aaafoundation.org , here are some key findings:
- Seat belt use -- Nearly one in five drivers (18 percent) report driving without a seat belt with more than one in seven (15 percent) admit to doing this more than once.
- Distracted driving -- More than two in three drivers (70 percent) report talking on a cellphone; nearly one in three (31 percent) report doing this regularly; More than two in five drivers (42 percent) admit to reading text messages or e-mail, with nearly one in three (32 percent) admit to do this regularly.
- Speeding -- Nearly half of all drivers (48 percent) report going 15 mph more than the speed limit on a freeway, About 45 percent of drivers report going 10 mph more than the speed limit on a residential street.
- Red-light running -- More than one in three drivers (39 percent) admit to having driven through a light that had just turned red. About one in four (26 percent) admit doing this regularly
- Drowsy driving -- Nearly one in three drivers (32 percent) say they’ve driven when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open. One in five (22 percent) admitted doing this more than once.
- Impaired driving -- More than one in eight (13 percent) report driving when their alcohol level might have been near or over the legal limit within the past 12 months.
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