Fifteen percent of surveyed drivers admitted to reading texts and texting behind the wheel. - IMAGE: Pexels

Fifteen percent of surveyed drivers admitted to reading texts and texting behind the wheel.

IMAGE: Pexels

A new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found the most common dangerous driving behaviors are speeding, distracted driving and aggressive driving.

The annual Traffic Safety Culture Index survey developed six driver profiles by examining patterns of self-reported risky driving behaviors among a large group of drivers. The six profiles defined in the study included:

  • Safe Drivers (41.2%) – Only a few in this group engaged in risky driving behaviors, with women making up 57% of the Safe Drivers group.
  • Speeding Drivers (22.7%) – These drivers admitted to exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph on freeways and/or 10 mph on residential streets but were generally not involved in other risky behaviors, the survey showed.
  • Distracted and Aggressive Drivers (17.3%) – Reported behaviors included distracted driving, such as texting while driving, speeding, and aggressive actions, such as running red lights and rapid lane switching, the release noted.
  • Distracted Drivers (15%) – These drivers admitted to distracted driving behaviors, like reading texts and texting behind the wheel, according to the research.
  • Most Dangerous Drivers (2.4%) – Despite comprising a small fraction of the drivers, the research noted these drivers pose a grave danger to themselves and other road users, as they admitted to engaging in all risky driving behaviors.
  • Impaired Drivers (1.3%) – The survey noted most impaired drivers live in nonmetropolitan areas. A noteworthy observation is that drivers who hold a four-year college degree were much less inclined to engage in impaired driving. Meanwhile, those with some college or an associate degree were the most "over-represented" group.

“Despite acknowledging the dangers, some drivers continue to engage in potentially deadly behaviors, particularly speeding,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety President and Executive Director, in a press relase on the findings. “Understanding the different risky driving behaviors and the characteristics of drivers who engage in them is crucial for developing targeted interventions to achieve safe mobility.”

The study also highlighted a near-term opportunity to concentrate enforcement efforts where they make an immediate safety impact, according to Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy.

“Many risky drivers in this study were classified into profiles that involved speeding behavior,” Nelson explained in the release. “Focusing on speeding drivers will deter other risky driving behaviors like impaired driving and red-light running. This traffic safety measure will have the greatest impact on safety.”

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