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May/June 2016 Issue

Most drivers engage in unsafe actions they know are dangerous, AAA finds

Despite the high death toll on America's roads, most motorists engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel that they know to be unsafe, according the latest research from AAA.

In the study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 87 percent of drivers said they had engaged in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month, including speeding, running red lights, not wearing a seat belt, and driving while distracted, impaired, or drowsy. The disturbing results come as nearly 33,000 Americans died in car crashes in 2014, and preliminary estimates project a 9 percent increase for 2015.

“There is a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The vast majority of motorists believe they are more careful than others on the road, though most of them are not making safe decisions while behind the wheel.”

The results are even more surprising because one in three of the respondents reported that they have had a friend or relative seriously injured or killed in a crash.

As in previous versions of the report, known as the Traffic Safety Culture Index, respondents admitted to engaging in the same dangerous behaviors that they find unacceptable in other drivers.

For instance, 97 percent of motorists say it is completely unacceptable for someone to drive when they may have had too much to drink, but 13 percent of those same motorists report driving when their alcohol level might have been near or over the legal limit in the past 12 months.

“We're asking every driver to make responsible decisions to make the roads safer for everyone,” Kissinger said.

To see the full report, visit AAAfoundation.org.

chart

speeding

Nearly 90 percent of drivers say speeding is unacceptable in residential areas, but almost half of those drivers say they have driven 10 mph over the limit on a residential street in the past month.


 

From car buying to recycling, AAA helps you go green

To help protect the environment, AAA can help consumers when they're looking for a “green” car or trying to figure out what to do with an old vehicle battery.

Available in May, the 2016 AAA Green Car Guide can educate car buyers about green technologies. Produced by the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center, the guide evaluates a range of vehicles, including electrics, hybrids, fuel-efficient gas, clean diesel, partial-zero emission, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

For more details about the guide, visit AAA.com/greencar.

And in conjunction with Earth Day, AAA is once again offering the annual Great Battery Roundup® campaign from April 18–22. The initiative seeks the public's help in corralling the millions of used, lead-acid batteries that are sitting in garages, basements, and storage sheds.

During this week, the public is encouraged to bring any old car, truck, boat, and motorcycle batteries to participating AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facilities for proper recycling. For a list of AAR facilities, visit AAA.com/repair, or call (800) 222-7623, Ext. 1268161.

 

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