It’s a fact: Most people want safer roads and a decreased risk of car accidents in Boston and elsewhere.
What most people don’t consider is they may be part of the problem. Increasingly, the AAA Foundation is finding that drivers have adopted this, “Do as I Say, Not as I Do,” attitude when it comes to roadway safety. They want others to practice responsible driving habits, but don’t feel it applies to them.
Our Boston car accident attorneys have seen the devastation that can be caused when drivers don’t take safety seriously. Distracted driving, impaired driving, drowsy driving – these are all major factors in deadly crashes, and they are each 100 percent preventable.
In 2010, nearly 33,000 people were killed in automobile crashes across the country. That breaks down to one death every 16 minutes, or about four an hour.
The recent study takes a closer look at why these needless deaths continue to occur, and what drivers are doing about it. What researchers have consistently found is that drivers are critical of other motorists who drink and drive, text and drive or don’t wear a seat belt.
But they don’t see it as something they need to take personally.
That kind of thinking is what inevitably leads to tragedy.
Peter Kissinger, the foundation’s CEO and president, says drivers really need to alter that attitude if these sad statistics are going to drop.
In looking at common factors for traffic fatalities, the researchers first looked at drinking and driving. In that case, three-fourths of drivers said anytime someone gets behind the wheel after drinking, they consider it an extreme threat to their safety. And yet, 14 percent of those same drivers admitted that at some point within the last year, they had taken that risk themselves by getting behind the wheel when they were either drunk or precariously close to being so. And of those 14 percent, more than a fifth said they had taken that chance within the last month.
It would be one thing if drunk drivers only put themselves in danger, but their actions put everyone else on the road in peril.
Next, the researchers looked at cell phone use and texting while driving. This is a huge and increasingly common factor in deadly crashes, and most people recognize that. In fact, 94 percent said other motorists who text or check their e-mail behind the wheel put their lives in jeopardy. However, this also, apparently, didn’t apply to them. In fact, 68 percent reported talking on their cell phone while driving within the last month, and 35 percent admitted to reading a text or an e-mail while they were driving.
Researchers also looked into drowsy driving. Our Boston car accident attorneys know that most people find there aren’t enough hours in the day. We can’t seem to cut back on our other obligations, so our sleep suffers.
Most drivers recognize that driving when you’re sleepy is a serious problem. In fact, 96 percent said it was unacceptable for someone to get behind the wheel when they were too tired. And yet, almost one-third said they had done it themselves in the past month.
If you or someone in your family has been injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman. Our firm offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.
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