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TMCnet Feature

June 20, 2014

Americans Know Behaviors are Dangerous While Driving but Still do Them


The beginning of the summer means there will be a lot of cars on the road traveling to the beach, meeting up for family gatherings or to enjoy some R & R at vacation spots. While relaxation and fun is the focus of the season, Americans must not forget the importance of safe driving behaviors, especially since summer is considered the most dangerous time of the year for teen car accidents.

A new Harris Poll, which surveyed 2,045 adults aged 18 and older online towards the end of last month, reveals that although Americans acknowledge certain actions are dangerous when driving they still do them anyway.

The poll found that the majority of Americans believe that getting behind the wheel after having three or more drinks is dangerous or very dangerous and two-thirds said the same thing about driving after just one or two drinks. Despite this, 37 percent of those who drink alcohol said that they have driven at a time when they likely had too much to drink and 30 percent stated that they are more likely to drive after a few drinks if they only have to go a short distance.

On the topic of texting more than 90 percent of Americans think that sending and reading text messages while driving is dangerous or very dangerous, while they are split on whether or not it is okay to check messages when at a red light.

Image via Shutterstock

When it comes to talking on a hand-hand cell phone, roughly 70 percent of those surveyed believe it to be dangerous when driving. Hands-free cell phone conversations seem to be considered safer as only 36 percent perceive it to be dangerous when driving.

Of course, even in the case of cell phones, like alcohol, Americans know the behaviors are dangerous but don't take steps to avoid doing them. As found in the poll, three-fourths of drivers with cell phones said they do talk on the device while driving with almost half also reading text messages and over a fourth sending text messages. These dangerous habits were found to be especially common among millennials.

Additionally, not only are the drivers surveyed in the poll exhibiting the dangerous behaviors themselves when they are behind the wheel but they are also allowing other drivers to proceed with the behavior when they are passengers. For example, the majority of Americans included in the poll said that they been passengers in a car with a driver who is either talking on a cell, or reading or sending texts and over one-fourth of Americans said they have been in a car with a driver who has been drinking.

The clear lesson presented by the Harris Poll is that Americans know what the right thing to do is in terms of safe driving but for some reason don't follow it.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


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