DeAnn Owens
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Drivers Know Their Driving Is Bad… But Don’t Care

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Texting and Driving
Photo: Roman Pohorecki

Some drivers just can’t (or won’t) change their bad-driving behaviors. And, it’s not because they’ve never been caught or suffered the consequences of an accident.

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According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who’ve experienced a crash aren’t willing to relinquish unsafe driving habits like texting or speeding. And drivers who believe that driving distracted or driving aggressively are dangerous admit that they’re guilty of these behaviors.

The Traffic Safety Culture Index, an annual report delivered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, also revealed that 50 percent of drivers who used their cellphone while driving have been in a recent accident. Forty-two percent of the drivers surveyed who have not been in a recent accident admitted to talking on a cellphone while behind the wheel.

Texting while driving is a dangerous widespread problem, too.

“Forty-three percent of those involved in a recent crash admit to texting while driving in the past month vs. 27 not involved in a crash,” according to the TSCI.

Driving while exhausted or while sending/typing a text message were deemed the most dangerous behaviors, according to the survey respondents, 96 percent for both behaviors.

“Yet these same drivers text when behind the wheel, even believing there is a risk of getting caught by police for reading (43.7 percent) or typing (42.7 percent) a text message,” the TSCI reports.

Although these statistics are harrowing there is a sliver of a silver lining. According to the report, drivers aren’t driving badly or falling into bad driving habits as often compared to the 2018 results.

“If you point to the dangerous driving behaviors of others that you sometimes do yourself, then you are the problem,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research.

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Driving is an exceptional responsibility. Every time you’re behind the wheel, it’s important to stay focused and keep your cellphone on silent or set to do not disturb. Don’t drive when you’re tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol and obey the speed limit.