Poll: Driving qualifies as one risky business

| Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Truckers, watch out for those four-wheelers.

According to a recent study, most of them are speeding or eating behind the wheel, and some even take time to read a quick book – all while sharing the road with you.

The study involved a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. and designed to measure driver’s attitudes about safety. It was commissioned by AAA, Partners for Highway Safety and Volvo Cars of North America.

“These findings clearly show that almost every driver has engaged in a risk behavior at least once in the past six months,” Brad Coker, who directed the poll for Mason-Dixon, said in a statement. “In fact, more than 90 percent nationwide freely admitted it.”

Ninety-one percent say they have engaged in at least on activity recently identified as risky by road experts. Among the results:

  • 71 percent say they speed;
  • 59 percent eat while they drive;
  • 37 percent use a cell phone when they drive;
  • 30 percent say they have run a red or yellow light;
  • 28 percent do not wear a seat belt;
  • 26 percent don’t signal when they turn;
  • 14 percent say they have read while driving.

“A substantial majority (72%) of American drivers say that it is ‘acceptable’ to drive 5 miles over the posted speed limit,” the study’s authors wrote. “And 2 out of 10 say that speeding 10 miles over the posted speed is acceptable behavior.”

The behaviors identified by the people responding to the poll are among the top reasons cited by experts for traffic crashes and fatalities, according to the study.

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