Most Americans appear to have a high opinion of themselves as drivers, with the vast majority rating themselves as having safe driving practices. Research shows that there’s a funny disconnect between what Americans admit they do behind the wheel and how they view themselves as drivers.
Most drivers believe they are excellent behind the wheel, despite freely admitting to dangerous driving practices. As part of new research that was commissioned by Ford, researchers interviewed more than 2,500 Americans with driving licenses. The subjects were all over 18 years old, and came from 18 different cities.
According to the study, approximately 76% of Americans admitted to snacking or drinking beverages while driving, while 55% of the respondents admitted that they drive at excessive speeds. Approximately 53% of the survey respondents admitted that they used their cell phone while driving, or operated a vehicle when they were too drowsy to drive. Another 25% of Americans in the survey found nothing wrong with picking up the phone to search for contact numbers, all while driving.
The survey found that these reckless driving practices have contributed to thousands of accidents and near-miss accidents. Approximately 57% of the drivers in the study said that they had been involved in accidents or had nearly been involved in accidents because of blind spots. Approximately 40% of the respondents said that they had been involved in an accident or had come close to being involved in an accident, while backing out of a parking spot. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, a whopping 99% of the drivers evaluated themselves as “safe” drivers.
The research was released in the midst of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s fight against distracted drivers. According to NHTSA, distracted driving resulted in the death of more than 3,000 people in 2010, or 9.4% of all traffic fatalities that year, with another 416,000 people injured. More needs to be done by lawmakers across the country to ensure that thousands of people do not die such preventable deaths each year.
The survey also showed conflicting feelings about automotive technology. Approximately half of respondents said they were interested in systems that would help drive their car while the other half said they would never trust such devices. Most drivers did warm to the idea of systems that would help them stay in their lanes while driving. Perhaps unsurprising given everyone’s fascination with their phones, voice-activated communication technology that gave driver’s increased ability to make and receive phone calls was also highly sought after.
As Alabama car wreck attorneys, we routinely see the devastating aftermath of collisions caused by such distracted driving accidents. If you’ve been the victim of such an accident and need help navigating confusing legal waters, contact our skilled Alabama car accident lawyers today.
Source: “Drivers Want Alert Options, Ford-backed Study Finds,” by Jean Halliday, published at Forbes.com.