Many drivers develop unsafe driving habits and engage in risky behaviors, sometimes without paying it any mind. However, a car accident can happen in a split second. It only takes one minor distraction, wrong move, or error in judgment. So, how prevalent is the problem of risky driving?
AAA survey reveals the most common dangerous driving habits
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted the Traffic Safety Culture Index in 2022, surveying 2,499 individuals online. This survey revealed the widespread nature of risky behaviors among drivers. Out of all the respondents surveyed:
- 22.7% admitted to speeding.
- 17.3% admitted to aggressive and distracted driving.
- 15% admitted to various forms of distracted driving.
- 1.3% admitted to driving under the influence.
- 2.4% admitted to engaging in all of the above surveyed risky behaviors.
Tips for avoiding risky behaviors when driving
To prevent the development of bad driving habits, the most effective strategy is never to start engaging in them in the first place, according to AAA Driving School instructor Arnie Kinsler. He stresses the importance of adhering to road rules to his students, who are typically aged 16 to 22. Through Kinsler's observations, he has noticed many drivers treating speed limits and stop signs as mere suggestions. He has even observed some drivers eating full meals while driving at high speeds.
He advises drivers to strictly follow traffic rules, even when dealing with impatient drivers. He emphasizes that driving within speed limits is safer for everyone. For experienced drivers who have developed risky behaviors, Kinsler recommends maintaining vigilance and being aware of their actions on the road. He also suggests revisiting their driving skills by taking AAA's Defensive Driving Course.
Types of risky behaviors to avoid when driving
One of the most common risky behaviors to avoid is distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it has led to 3,522 traffic fatalities across the U.S. in 2021. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous as it diverts a driver's eyes, hands, and focus from the road. Another alarming trend is recording videos for social media while driving, especially among young drivers.
To avoid the urge to drive distracted, Barbara Ward, an experienced traffic safety expert at AAA Northeast, suggests using the 'do not disturb' feature on phones and keeping them out of reach while driving.
Impaired driving, which includes operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, isn't just illegal; it significantly increases the risk of causing a collision. To avoid this type of risky behavior, drivers should avoid using alcohol or drugs if they plan on operating a motor vehicle. Otherwise, they should plan ahead by designating a sober driver, using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, or summoning a taxi. According to the NHTSA, drunk driving caused 13,384 road deaths in the U.S. during 2021.
Drowsy driving is as dangerous as impaired driving and caused 684 deaths in 2021. Roughly 18% of survey respondents admitted to drowsy driving within the last month. AAA recommends taking breaks every two hours or every 100 miles to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. It's also important to know the signs of drowsy driving, which include difficulty staying awake, poor concentration, or not remembering recent miles driven. If these symptoms arise, drivers should stop driving and let someone else take the wheel.
Know your legal rights if you've been hurt in a crash in Delaware
Avoiding risky behaviors behind the wheel is a great way to reduce your chances of a collision. However, you can't control the actions of other drivers around you. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash in Delaware, you can count on the legal team at Gill, Welsh, and Chamberlain, P.A. to fight for justice and accountability on your behalf.
We'll investigate your car accident to determine how it occurred and whose actions caused it. Plus, we'll handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies and fight to secure the compensation you deserve. To find out how we can help you, contact us online or call us for a free consultation. We'll review your potential legal options and provide honest answers to help you find your way forward.