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Survey: 'Culture of indifference' persists among U.S. drivers

When it comes to identifying an unsafe driver, most people could probably name someone they believe is either lacking the necessary skills behind the wheel or is downright dangerous after careful consideration.

Interestingly enough, a report released just last week by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as part of its annual Traffic Safety Culture Index suggests that the process of identifying an unsafe driver is actually much easier than this, as most people needn't look any further than the nearest mirror.

Indeed, in a survey of 2,442 licensed drivers age 16 and up, the researchers discovered that roughly 87 percent admitted to some sort of driving behavior that could be classified as risky.

Some of the more eye-opening findings included:  

  • 48 percent of drivers reported exceeding the speed limit on freeways by at least 15 miles-per-hour in the last 30 days, while 15 percent confessed to doing so regularly
  • 45 percent of drivers reported exceeding the speed limit on residential streets by at least 10 miles-per-hour in the last 30 days, while 11 percent confessed to doing so regularly
  • 42 percent of drivers reported reading a text message/email in the last 30 days, while 12 percent confessed to doing so regularly
  • 32 percent of drivers reported sending a text message/email in the last 30 days, while 8 percent confessed to doing so regularly
  • 39 percent of drivers reported running a red light in the last 30 days, while 26 percent confessed to doing so regularly
  • 32 percent of drivers reported driving drowsy in the last 30 days, while 22 percent confessed to doing so regularly

According to the researchers, these figures can be largely attributed to what they termed "a culture of indifference" behind the wheel, and are actually even more shocking given that 1 in 3 of these surveyed drivers had seen loved ones seriously injured or killed in a car accident.  

Given that almost 33,000 people died in car accidents in the U.S. in 2014 and preliminary estimates are showing a 9 percent increase in the accident fatality rate in 2015, we can only hope that more people finally start to get the message about the importance of safe driving.

Please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by the reckless actions of another

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