Today's News

Threat of distracted driving makes most motorists feel less safe (9/30)

September 30, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Fifty-two percent of drivers said they feel less safe on the roads now than they did five years ago, according to the third-annual 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The leading reason cited by American drivers was distracted driving, with 88 percent of motorists rating drivers who text and email as a very serious threat to their safety.

“As mobile technology evolves at a breakneck pace, more and more people rightly fear and recognize that distracted driving — texting, e-mails, phone calls and more — is a growing threat on the road. But, unfortunately, this new data confirms the “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude is prevalent throughout much of the driving public,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. The study showed that the majority of drivers (62 percent) feel that talking on a cell phone is a very serious threat to safety, but they do not always behave accordingly or believe that others share these views. In fact, nearly 70 percent of those surveyed admitted to talking on their phones and 24 percent said they read or sent text messages or emails while driving in the previous month. To help change the current culture of complacency, the AAA Foundation and AAA are holding their second annual Heads Up Driving Week, from September 26-October 2, to encourage drivers to drive distraction-free.

“Unlike the social stigma surrounding drinking and driving, driving while texting, emailing or talking on the phone aren’t perceived as egregious behaviors despite overwhelming scientific evidence of the serious crash risk these behaviors pose,” said Kissinger. “This year’s Traffic Safety Culture Index helps identify crucial disconnects between public perceptions and behaviors, an important step in helping the public understand the true risks of their actions.”

Traffic safety touches Americans’ lives with serious consequences. Half of survey respondents report having been involved in a serious crash, having had a friend or relative injured or killed in a crash, or both. In an effort to spark the dialogue about improving our safety culture and working toward the goal of zero deaths on our nation’s highways, the AAA Foundation launched its third-annual survey of the driving public on a wide variety of issues.

Following are highlights from the 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index
  • Motorists rated distracted driving behaviors as some of the most serious threats to their safety, yet many admitted to distracted behaviors like talking on the cell phone or texting or e-mailing while driving
  • Nearly 90 percent identify texting or e-mailing while driving as a very serious threat and 80 percent would support a law banning it
  • Nine out of ten people personally consider texting or emailing while driving unacceptable and two-thirds indicated that they would lose some respect for a friend who they saw engaging in those activities while driving
  • However, nearly a quarter of all those surveyed said they had read or sent a text or e-mail while driving in the last month
  • Two-thirds report talking on a cell phone while driving as a very serious threat and nearly half would support a law banning use of any phone while driving
  • However, nearly 70 percent of all those surveyed admitted talking on phone while driving in the past month
“Motor vehicle crashes suddenly, prematurely and violently end the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year – killing more of our children, teens and young adults than any other single cause,” continued Kissinger. “Using a phone while driving increases your risk of being in a crash fourfold due to the physical, visual and mental distractions. As a society, we no longer can let distraction kill.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN SEPTEMBER 2014 COVER

2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.