Driver Safety Public Opinion Poll

Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:

Distracted Driving Awareness Month continues, and we wanted to bring attention to just how much drivers overestimate their ability to drive while distracted. In February, The National Safety Council conducted a public opinion poll on driver safety. The NSC conducted this research in an effort to understand the attitudes and behaviors of the driving public on a number of driver safety related topics.

The National Safety Council released their findings this month in accordance with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and hope the information will lead to the development of policies, programs, and educational material that will reduce the number of traffic fatalities. Here are some of their findings:

On texting:

  • 47% of drivers said they believe it’s safe to send a text manually or through voice dictation while driving.

On working:

  • 45% reported feeling pressure from employers to react immediately to work-related text messages and emails.
  • However, 44% said they have been in an accident in last 3 years while traveling or commuting for business. Perhaps there’s a correlation here.

On drinking:

  • 71% said they believe they can have up to 3 drinks before impairing their driving abilities.

On sleep:

  • 33% of respondents said they believe it is acceptable to drive on less than four hours of sleep. However, driving while sleep-deprived may be as much of an impairment as driving drunk.

On teenagers:

  • 35% of teens say they would use social media behind the wheel.
  • 17% feel their distraction may have contributed to a crash.

On distractions:

  • Two-thirds of respondents have felt unsafe due to other drivers’ distractions on the road, while only 25% think their own distractions put themselves or others at risk.

The findings from this poll are quite scary, and very telling about our driving habits and mindsets. We are so used to multitasking in everyday life, many of us have made it a habit behind the wheel as well. But with the rise in traffic accidents an accident-related fatalities on the roads, drivers are clearly overestimating their ability to multitask and handle distractions while driving.

So what can we do about the epidemic of distracted driving? It all starts with education. Firstly, parents should take responsibility when it comes to teaching their children about safe driving practices, as well as setting a good example. Your children and teenage drivers will mimic what they have seen behind the wheel, so be sure to stay alert to the road and not your phone.

Friends should also look out for one another. Don’t let your friends text while driving or drive after drinking. Plan ahead for a night out on the town, and rely on apps like Uber and Lyft for transportation.

The findings from the NSC’s poll also show us that employers need to take responsibility as well. Encourage your employees to drive safely, stressing to them that driving without any distractions is more important than immediately responding to a text message or email.

Distracted driving is a problem that is severely affecting our roads and the safety of drivers. When you’re out on the road, stay alert and off of your phone. No text message is worth risking your life.

If you have any more questions about distracted driving, or have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, the John Price Law Firm is ready to help. Contact us online or at 843-552-6011.