In 2012, federal highway safety officials recorded an increase in traffic accident fatalities after several years of declines. Recent data released by the American AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates the reason for this. The data indicates that between 2009 and 2012, American attitudes to poor driving practices including drunk driving and distracted driving have dropped.
As cars get safer and help prevent injuries in accidents, it could be that many Americans now are becoming blasé about the safety risks that they are exposed to every day when they share the road with a drunk or drowsy driver.
The shift in American attitudes towards critical driving safety issues like driving under the influence of alcohol or drowsy driving over these years is remarkable to say the least. Over these three years, the number of people who believe that driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious threat to motorists on our roads, dropped from nearly 90% in 2009 to a low of 69% in 2012.
Further, the number of respondents in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety surveys who believe that drowsy driving was a very real threat dropped from 71% in 2009 to just 46% three years later. The number of respondents who believed that texting or e-mailing while driving increased the risk of an accident dropped from 87% in 2009 to 81% three years down the line.
As further proof of these softening attitudes towards dangerous practices, the survey also found that during the same period of time, the number of people who admitted to texting while driving while driving actually increased from 21% in 2009 to 26%.
Even more staggering was the shift in attitudes that were noticed towards red light violations. Red light violations can severely increase the risk of dangerous side-impact accidents that dramatically increase the risk of injuries or fatalities. In 2009, 77% of drivers found these practices to be deplorable, and in 2012 the number had dropped to 70%. In fact, more than 30% of the motorists admitted that over the previous month, they had run a red light at least once.
Those are staggering findings, and seem to indicate that motorists are becoming more negligent about their driving, probably because accident fatality rates now are much lower than they were a decade ago. Moreover, cars are much safer than they used to be, and as automobiles come packed with electronic stability control, side impact airbags, lane departure warning systems and other technology, motorists are adopting a more casual attitude toward safety.
The Indiana car accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons who have been injured in car accidents across Indiana.