A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that general public drivers understand the risks of unsafe driving practices, yet are not changing their driving behavior.
Results from the 2013 Traffic Safety Culture Index, ongoing since 2008, consisted of an annual national survey of American drivers aged 16 and over which focused on their driving behaviors and attitudes.
The collected data showed that drivers know and fully understand the risks and dangers associated with unsafe driving practices but continued with the unsafe practice anyway:
- Drowsy driving : 95% of drivers believe this to be unacceptable while 30% of drivers admitted to driving drowsy within the previous 30 days.
- Distracted driving : 89% of drivers believe such practices as talking on the cell phone while driving is unacceptable while 70% admitted to doing so within the previous 30 days.
- Running a red light : 70% say this is completely unacceptable but nearly 39% have done so within the previous 30 days.
- Speeding : 63% of drivers surveyed agreed that driving more than 10 MPH over the speed limit on residential streets is unacceptable while nearly 50% admitted to doing so within the previous 30 days.
- Texting / Emailing : 95% of drivers agreed that texting or emailing while driving is a serious safety threat but nearly 35% admitted to reading emails while driving within the previous 30 days.
The AAA Foundation concluded that, “It becomes clear when looking at these results that many drivers perform the same activities that they recognize as being dangerous.”
The FMCSA continues to increase regulations for professional CDL in order to ensure safer roads, however, the fact remains that unless the driving public corrects their admitted poor driving behavior, increased regulations for CMV drivers can only do so much.
Today, the truth is that commercial trucks are involved in 2.4% of all car accidents and more than 80% of those accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. Furthermore, only 16% of all truck driving accidents are due to the truck driver’s fault and of those death related accidents, only 4% of trucks are fatigue related. (Ref: Source 1).
FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro has stated that her goal is zero truck related fatalities. We believe that unless more assertive action is taken towards the non CDL driver, this goal is unrealistic.
According to a recent article in TheTrucker:
According to published reports, Ferro challenged the notion of Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., that the agency’s stated of zero-truck related fatalities is an ideology that leads to poor regulation.
Hanna has been quoted as saying accidents will happen and trying to driver the truck-related fatality rate to zero is senseless.
“[Zero deaths is] an unrealistic, impractical goal that burdens the industry and is philosophically based, not reality based,” he has said.
© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.