In spite of the heavy focus recently on issues like distracted driving and drowsy driving, American attitudes towards important highway safety issues like drunk driving are actually becoming more negligent.
Researchers recently compared the results of surveys that were conducted in 2009 and 2012, and found a marked change in the responses of the participants to critical highway safety issues like drowsy driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving.
In 2009, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey in which 90% of the respondents admitted that they believed drunk driving was a serious threat. In the same survey, there were similar stringent attitudes against other types of distracted driving behaviors like distracted driving (87%), drowsy driving 77%), and red light violations (77%).
However, in 2012, there was a significant shift in those attitudes, and the disapproval of such practices was not as significant as before. In 2012, just 69% and 46% of respondents respectively believed that drunk driving and drowsy driving were significant highway safety threats. This is in spite of the fact, that in recent years, there have been a number of high-profile accidents that have been directly linked to motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while sleepy.
The number of people who believed using a smart phone while driving was dangerous dropped to 81%, while the number of people who believed that running red lights contributed to driving accident risks, dropped to 70%. In 2012, as many as one-third of respondents admitted to driving through a red light over the past month.
Clearly, Americans are getting more blasé about highway safety, and seem to believe that many of the safety threats that dominated the headlines before, are in the past.
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