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Your attitudes about road safety could indicate if you are a safe driver
If you are like most people, you want to believe you are a safe driver. However, this annual survey of driver attitudes reveals that many people take a more lax view of road safety than they think.
“The 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index reveals that while most drivers desire a greater level of security behind the wheel, their actual behaviors often contradict their attitudes about safety – creating a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ culture on the roads.”
Almost across the board, drivers seem to understand the risks of certain behaviors while behind the wheel. Yet, many drivers continue to engage in those risky behaviors, including:
Among other findings, the survey showed that, while 96.8 percent of people viewed texting and driving as a “serious threat,” 34.6 percent of respondents sent a text or email while driving.
Our recent blog on the dangers of distracted driving highlights just how serious this behavior can be.
In the survey, 42.7 percent of people “admitted to driving through a stoplight that had just turned red…despite most drivers (92.9 percent) viewing it as unacceptable behavior.” That is a huge disconnect. We have handled far too many cases of injuries caused by a driver running a red light.
While it might seem harmless to take the chance and gun it, a few seconds can change your life forever. It’s just not worth it. Stop at the red, and practice some deep breathing exercises for two minutes. You might save a life (possibly yours), and you will lower your blood pressure in the process.
The Sleep Foundation reports that driving while sleepy mirrors driving while drunk:
“Drowsy driving is dangerous because sleep deprivation can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of .05 (for reference, .08 is considered drunk). If you’ve been awake for a full 24 hours and drive—say, after a night where you just couldn’t fall asleep—it’s like you have a blood alcohol level of .10.”
That finding is especially frightening when the Traffic Safety Survey reveals that, “around 3 in 10 (30.8%) admit to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month.”
If you are too tired to keep your eyes open, stay home, check into a motel for the night, or call a friend to drive you home. Don’t put yourself, or someone else, at risk.
Perhaps a small silver lining in the survey results: People do understand the risks of driving while under the influence (alcohol or drugs), and the majority of respondents support strict anti-DUI laws.
However, 13.5 percent of people admit to driving while close to or past the legal blood alcohol level.
Bottom line, use your common sense. Traffic laws exist for a reason, and you can choose to be part of the solution rather than the problem. Each time you get behind the wheel, make an active choice to obey the rules of the road. You can help prevent injuries, and even death, by practicing safer driving habits.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us for a free case evaluation.