AAA Report Shows Increase in Risky Driving

December 20, 2022


A recent report published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that unsafe and risky driving behaviors have been on the rise over the past year or so and that drivers are increasingly aware that they are engaging in risky driving but choose to do so anyway. 

AAA Report Finds Unsafe Driving Behaviors on the Rise

The report found that many common unsafe and risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, running red lights and stop signs, drowsy/fatigued driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, rose from 2020 to 2021. In particular, the report found a 24 percent increase in the number of drivers who admitted to getting behind the wheel while feeling that they were intoxicated over the legal limit. 

The report noted that rates of self-reported risky driving behaviors had been decreasing over the period of 2018 to 2020. However, beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, traffic fatalities began sharply rising due to the increase in excessive speeding, intoxicated driving, and failing to use seat belts. Experts note that many drivers began engaging in risky behavior during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the empty roads prompted by stay-at-home orders across the country. However, once regular activity began picking back up in the latter half of 2020, drivers failed to readjust their behaviors to account for the return of traffic to the roads. 

Read more: Reckless Drivers Made Up The Majority Of Motorists During The Pandemic

Common Risky Driving Behaviors

The AAA report found that a sizeable share of drivers admitted to engaging in risky driving behaviors such as:

  • Texting while driving – Ninety-two percent of survey respondents said that the practice was very or extremely dangerous, while 96 percent said that someone important to them would disapprove if they engaged in the behavior. However, 26 percent of respondents admitted to texting and driving at least once in the prior 30 days.
  • Aggressive driving/road rage – Eighty-eight percent of respondents thought the practice was very or extremely dangerous, and 96 percent said someone important to them would disapprove of the practice. But 23 percent of respondents admitted to road rage in the last 30 days. 
  • Intoxicated driving – Ninety-four percent of respondents believed driving while over the legal BAC limit was very or extremely dangerous, although seven percent admitted to doing so in the past 30 days. Another 65 percent of respondents said that driving within one hour of consuming marijuana was very or extremely dangerous, and 93 percent said someone important to them would disapprove of the behavior. 

Read more: Consequences Of Drowsy Driving In Pennsylvania

Important Safety Tips

AAA recommended the following safety tips to help reduce your chances of engaging in risky or unsafe driving behaviors:

  • Put your smartphone away or activate the airplane mode or do-not-disturb mode while driving
  • Avoid driving over the speed limit
  • Pull over if you begin to feel drowsy or fatigued while behind the wheel
  • Never drive after consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs
  • Always buckle your seat belt, no matter how short of a distance you are driving

Read more: Tips For Safe Driving

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Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call 412-837-8426 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

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