About 87 percent of drivers in the United States have engaged in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month, according to latest research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
These unsafe behaviors include driving while distracted, impaired, drowsy, speeding, running red lights or not wearing a seat belt.
The results come as nearly 33,000 Americans died in car crashes in 2014, and preliminary estimates project a nine percent increase in deaths for 2015.
“There is a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety.”
“The vast majority of motorists believe they are more careful than others on the road, though most of them are not making safe decisions while behind the wheel. We’re asking every driver to make responsible decisions to make the roads safer for everyone,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The report finds that 1 in 3 drivers have had a friend or relative seriously injured or killed in a crash, and 1 in 5 have been involved in a crash that was serious enough for someone to go to the hospital.
Common unsafe behaviors include:
- More than 2 in 3 drivers (70 percent) report talking on a cell phone while driving within the past 30 days. Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (31 percent) report doing this fairly often or regularly.
- More than 2 in 5 drivers (42 percent) admit to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days, while 12 percent report doing this fairly often or regularly.
- Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32 percent) admit to typing or sending a text or email over the past month, while eight percent say they do so fairly often or regularly.
- Over 80 percent of drivers view distracted driving as a bigger problem than three years ago.
- Nearly half of all drivers (48 percent) report going 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway in the past month, while 15 percent admit doing so fairly often or regularly.
- About 45 percent of drivers report going 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street in the past 30 days, and 11 percent admit doing so fairly often or regularly.
- Nearly 1 in 3 drivers (32 percent) say they have driven when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past 30 days. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) admitted doing this more than once during that time.
- More than 1 in 3 drivers (39 percent) admit to having driven through a light that had just turned red when they could have stopped safely during the past 30 days. About 1 in 4 drivers (26 percent) reported doing this more than once during that time.
- Nearly 1 in 5 drivers (18 percent) report driving without a seatbelt within the past 30 days, and more than 1 in 7 (15 percent) admit to doing this more than once.
- More than 1 in 8 motorists (13 percent) report driving when their alcohol level might have been near or over the legal limit within the past 12 months. About nine percent of drivers report doing this more than once over the past year.