Drivers admit to risky behavior behind the wheel

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 18:26:06-05

Nearly 3300 Americans died in car crashes in 2014 and it is projected that in 2015 there were even more who were fatally injured.

Now, AAA has released a new disturbing report that indicates close to 9 out of 10 drivers say they have engaged in unsafe behavior while behind the wheel.

About 87 percent of drivers say they have engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving including being impaired, drowsy, speeding, or running a red light.

“I mean even little things,” said Gary Bubar at AAA.  “Driving without headlights, not using turn signals, not being considerate of other drivers.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, NHTSA, nearly half of all drivers say they have engaged in speeding in the last month. Speeding is believed to a factor in 10,000 deaths per year. nearly 1 in 3 say they have driven when they were so tired it was hard to keep their eyes open.

AAA believes drowsy driving has played a factor in 6,400 deaths. The same amount of drivers confess to running red lights and NHTSA estimates nearly 700 were killed in 2013 because of it.

“We’re up from last year and we are on a path where we are headed for more than we were in 2015 and we are at a pace to go higher in 2016,” said Bubar.

70 percent of drivers said in the past 30 days, they have talked on their cell phone while driving.

More than 42 percent admit to reading a text message or email while driving.

“Really the message should be: just drive your vehicle,” said Bubar. “Everything else is secondary. Texting contributes to an enormous amount of crashes. It’s estimated to as many as a third of all crashes… perhaps more.”

NTSHA estimates that distracted driving may be a factor in at least 3000 deaths per year.

They also say if you take your eyes off the road for more than 2 seconds, you double your chances of being in a crash.