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Report finds persistent risky driving behaviors across NYS

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report unveils concerning trends in American driving behaviors.

The study, part of the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI), categorizes drivers into six profiles based on their self-reported driving habits. Alarmingly, only 41.2% of participants fall into the “Safe Drivers” category. The report highlights that despite awareness of risks, behaviors like speeding, distracted driving, and aggressive driving are prevalent.

Dr. David Yang, President and Executive Director of the AAA Foundation, emphasizes the need for targeted interventions to combat these behaviors.

As driving activity returns to pre-pandemic levels, traffic fatalities, particularly those involving speeding and impaired driving, remain disturbingly high. Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy, suggests focusing on speeding enforcement as a strategy to curb other risky behaviors such as impaired driving and red-light running.

The TSCI report also reveals a worrying trend in driver perception of speeding: fewer drivers see it as dangerous, and it receives the lowest social disapproval among risky behaviors. Notably, the efficiency gains from speeding are minimal; a mere 5-minute reduction in travel time requires driving at 80 mph over a 100-mile journey, compared to 75 mph.

The six driver profiles identified range from the predominant “Safe Drivers” to the small yet highly risky “Most Dangerous Drivers” group. The study highlights the paradox of drivers recognizing the dangers of risky behaviors while many admit to engaging in them. The TSCI, conducted annually for over a decade, continues to offer crucial insights into public perceptions and behaviors, aiding the development of effective traffic safety measures.