• 14-OCT-2016

  • SOURCE: Synaptic Digital

Dangerous Driving Behaviors

Cars may be safer, but the roads are more hazardous today

In spite of new technologies that are making cars safer, accidents and fatalities on the road are increasing. In fact, last year, the United States suffered the largest increase in traffic deaths in 50 years.

Human behavior factors are contributing to some of the biggest hazards on the road. Distracted driving tops the list as one of the most dangerous behaviors on the roads today. Smartphones not only distract drivers; distracted walking is becoming an epidemic on its own. Safety is the first concern, but the increase in auto accidents also could affect consumers' insurance costs. Simple modifications to driver behavior can have a big improvement to road safety and reducing costs. Auto insurers are working with policymakers, leading researchers, and auto manufacturers to determine how we can better protect drivers and pedestrians and keep costs down.

In September 2016, Harris Poll conducted a survey on behalf of PCI of over 2,000 U.S. adults. Results show that most Americans (86%) think talking on a cell phone is dangerous for someone to do while driving, however, about 1 in 5 Americans (21%) currently talk on a cell phone while driving.

Other Key Findings:

• 70% of Americans mistakenly think car safety technology has reduced the number of motor vehicle accidents.
• 85% of Americans think that distracted driving is contributing to more motor vehicle accidents than driving under the influence of alcohol.
• 90% of parents who drive say they set a good example for their children by avoiding driving while distracted.
• 88% of Americans say people who drive under the influence of marijuana are a hazard to others on the road.
• 90% of Americans agree that distracted walking is major, emerging problem.

Tips to Reduce Accidents:

• Don't let the modern safety features on new cars make you a complacent driver. Roads are becoming increasingly dangerous for motorists and pedestrians--just at a time when you might be letting your guard down.
• Put down the smartphone. Talking, texting, looking at directions and playing augmented reality games like Pokémon Go all divert your attention from the road.
• And for parents—set a good example for your children.
• Minimize other distractions in the car. Avoid eating, fiddling with controls and turning your attention to kids and pets in the back seat.
• Don't drive impaired. Alcohol, drugs and prescription medicine will affect your ability to property operate a vehicle.
• Stay focused on the road. Construction, congestion and hazards like potholes are increasingly common on our streets and highways.
• Support safe driving laws. Distracted, aggressive and impaired driving laws need to be implemented and enforced.

For more information, visit www.pciaa.net