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If we are honest with ourselves, most of us think that the only bad drivers out there are the other drivers. Many of us have used terms that cannot be repeated in front of children to describe people who were engaging in dangerous driving. The acts of other motorists that prompted these unfortunate utterances often included speeding, running a red light or texting while driving.
Perhaps we are all a bit guilty of cognitive dissonance when it comes to dangerous driving. That could be one way to explain the findings of a recent survey that revealed a shocking percentage of motorists who had engaged in dangerous driving during the previous 30 days. One thing that is clear is that people need to be ready to contact a San Diego car accident lawyer if they have been injured as a result of someone else’s faulty behavior.
The American Automobile Association, or AAA, administered the survey. AAA completes many of these surveys in an effort to inform the public with regards to dangerous driving and other potential problems on the road. Our firm has covered several of these AAA analyses recently, including those that focused on drowsy driving, debris on the roads and the “100 deadliest days” for teens behind the wheel, among others.
This survey looked at acts that constitute dangerous driving and asked motorists to self-report. Specifically, AAA asked 2,511 licensed drivers in the United States a series of questions in an online survey that was administered last summer. The survey asked the participants questions regarding the following:
The results were surprising when compared to each other, as mentioned above.
The survey did not lead to positive results for millennials, or in this case drivers between the ages of 19 and 24. According to the survey, the following percentages of drivers defined by age group admitted to speeding, running a red light or texting while driving during the previous 30 days:
The survey also found the following with regards to drivers between 19 and 24 years old:
Those interested in reading the full report on the problems discovered with drivers in this age group can find it here.
As we mentioned above, it’s strange to see so many people admitting to dangerous driving. This is especially so when comparing those data to the responses regarding how motorists perceive themselves as compared to other drivers. Three examples of this contradiction appear below:
How much bigger of a problem is each of the issues below today as compared to three years ago?
Much bigger problem today (%)Somewhat bigger problem today (%)About the same (%)Somewhat smaller problem today (%)Much smaller problem today (%)Don’t know/refused answer (%)
|Drivers using drugs||29.2||29.4||38.0||3.0||0.3||0.1|
How careful are you on the road compared to other motorists?
|Much more careful (%)||Somewhat more careful (%)||About the same (%)||Somewhat less careful (%)||Much less careful (%)||Don’t know/refused answer (%)|
|16 – 18||42.1||37.2||20.3||0.2||0.0||0.2|
|19 – 24||26.2||48.3||19.8||4.4||0.0||1.4|
|25 – 39||34.1||46.6||18.4||0.7||0.0||0.3|
|40 – 59||43.8||40.2||15.9||0.2||0.0||0.0|
|60 – 74||48.3||37.9||13.5||0.4||0.0||0.0|
How much of a threat to your personal safety are each of the following forms of dangerous driving?
Very serious threat (%)Somewhat serious threat (%)Minor threat (%)Not a threat (%)Don’t know/refused answer (%)
|Talking on cell phones||59.4||29.4||10.4||0.7||0.2|
|Driving after consuming alcohol||69.2||23.9||6.3||0.5||0.2|
|Driving after taking prescription drugs||33.9||39.4||24.3||2.1||0.3|
|Driving after taking illegal drugs||59.8||28.4||11.1||0.7||0.1|
|Texting or emailing||81.1||16.3||2.1||0.4||0.1|
|Speeding on freeways||38.3||36.5||21.8||3.2||0.2|
|Speeding on residential streets||47.6||35.6||15.5||1.2||0.2|
|Running red lights||60.1||26.7||11.7||1.3||0.2|
It’s clear that people see the different types of dangerous driving as a serious problem. It’s also clear that people engage in dangerous driving on a shockingly regular basis. The statistics above seem to indicate that drivers see others as the problem and not themselves, even when they are engaging in dangerous behaviors. Unfortunately, anyone who is speeding, running red lights or texting while behind the wheel is driving dangerously and creating risks for both themselves and anyone else in the area at the time.
If you have acquired some bad driving habits, be honest about their existence and change them. If you or someone you love has been injured by someone driving dangerously, contact a San Diego car accident lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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