AAA Study highlights dangerous drivers

We have yet to reach the end of February and already 114 people have died and 379 others have been seriously injured on Michigan roadways this year.

Contributing to the problem is that more than half of all drivers engage in dangerous driving behaviors, according to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation.

The annual AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index identified six driver profiles: safe drivers, speeding drivers, distracted and aggressive drivers, distracted drivers, most dangerous drivers, and impaired drivers.

Speeding in particular plays a significant role in traffic deaths and injuries, and is linked to other risky driving behaviors.

Yet according to the survey, fewer drivers perceive speeding as dangerous and speeding behaviors have the lowest perceived social disapproval of all the examined unsafe driving behaviors.

And while it may seem like a good idea to put pedal to the metal when trying to reduce driving time, it would actually take driving 100 miles at 80 mph instead of 75 mph to shave just 5 minutes off a trip.

“This study highlights a near–term and important opportunity to concentrate on enforcement that makes an immediate safety impact. Many risky drivers in this study were classified into profiles that involved speeding behavior. Focusing on speeding drivers will deter other risky driving behaviors like impaired driving and red–light running. This traffic safety measure will have the greatest impact on safety,” Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy, said.

The majority of drivers surveyed perceived unsafe driving behaviors as very or extremely dangerous yet many admitted to engaging in these behaviors at least once in the previous 30 days.