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How seriously do drivers take safety?

Whether you routinely drive Rhode Island's busy streets during morning rush hour or on the weekends, the chances are high that you will witness a car accident - and maybe more than one - during a lifetime of travel. 

In 2017, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey to learn more about drivers' attitudes toward safety. What they found may surprise you: 

"The survey findings reveal that drivers engage in behaviors they recognize as unsafe. For example, a substantial number of drivers (95.6 percent) say that it is unacceptable to type text messages or email while driving; yet approximately 1 in 3 indicated that they have done it in the past 30 days."

Risky behavior 

Other numbers you may find interesting include that nearly 90 percent of drivers agree distracted driving has become an increasingly greater problem. Speeding remains a significant safety issue, too. Nearly 50 percent of participants said they had driven at least 10 miles per hour more than the speed limit when passing through residential neighborhoods; 50 percent had gone 15 miles per hour over on interstates. Have you noticed this trend?

With numbers like these, the Foundation could only conclude drivers have conflicting values in what they believe is safe versus what they do to be safe. One out of five reported involvement in a car accident, and almost 32 percent said a relative had endured serious injury or died from injuries sustained in an accident. It is hard to understand how there could be a disconnect for drivers who have had firsthand experience with crashes, but it is worth asking yourself whether this is true for you.

Responsive action

What can the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety do for you and other drivers, given the power of these numbers? They hope to "identify potential countermeasures to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths."

This post only intends to inform the public about factors that contribute to car accidents. It is not legal advice. 

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