“Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Attitude Persists

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Cell phone use while driving remains widespread, according to a nationwide survey released earlier this year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The Traffic Safety Culture Index, which included 2,442 licensed drivers, found an attitude of “do as I say, not as I do” still persists among motorists. Nearly nine out of ten drivers surveyed admitted to engaging in risky behaviors while behind the wheel within the past month.

Support for texting bans for drivers is strong (87.7 percent) and support for bans on hand-held mobile devices is lower but solid (70.3 percent), while support for a total ban (hand-held and hands-free) is even lower (42.4 percent).

Variations by Age
In general, compared with older drivers, younger drivers were:
  • More likely to report engaging in distracting behaviors behind the wheel;
  • More likely to find these behaviors acceptable; and
  • Less likely to support legislation aimed at curbing distractions.

Most drivers view texting or emailing while driving as a very serious threat to their own personal safety and consider it completely unacceptable. However, more than 1 in 8 drivers (14.1 percent) don’t perceive social disapproval from others; nearly 1 in 3 (31.5 percent) admit to typing or sending a text message or email while driving in the past month; and more than 2 in 5 (42.3 percent) report reading a text message or email while driving in the past month.

Since 2006, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been sponsoring research to better understand traffic safety culture.

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