Motorists’ opinions can be a factor in reducing risk of Chicago car accidents

The results are in for the 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index, which is published each year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Our Chicago car accident attorneys publish the results of the report each year, as it offers a glimpse into how the general public feels about important safety issues, such as drunk driving and distracted driving. This year’s report opens with the most sobering statistic of all — more than 1 million motorists have been killed in traffic crashes in the United States in the last 25 years. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for those under the age of 34.This is the 5th year of the cultural index, which has given safety advocates an enlightened view of the opinions of the general public, which have not always shown concern for some of the pressing safety issues of the day.

“On the other hand, this survey also highlights some aspects of the current traffic safety culture that might be characterized most appropriately as a culture of indifference, where drivers effectively say ‘do as I say, not as I do,'” the report states. “For example, substantial numbers of drivers say that it is completely unacceptable to text message or talk on a cell phone while driving, yet admit to doing so anyway.”

Among the findings:

-Half of Americans have been involved in a serious crash or have had a relative or friend who has been involved in a serious crash.

-More than half of all drivers report feeling less safe than five years ago — up 17 percent from last year. Nearly half cite driver distraction as the main reason for feeling less safe.

-Drivers view drinking and driving as a primary threat and fewer than 2 percent admit to drinking and driving in the last month.

-More than two-thirds of Americans support ignition interlock devices for first-time DUI offenders and there is almost universal support for requiring the devices for repeat offenders.

-Two-thirds of drivers admit to talking on their phone while driving in the last month.

-Most driver view texting and emailing while driving as a serious threat to their personal safety, however, about one-fourth of drivers admit to texting and driving.

-Two-thirds support restricting hand-held cell phones while driving.

-Nearly half of drivers admit to driving 15 mph or more over the speed limit on the freeway in the last month. One-third consider it acceptable to do so.

-Most drivers view running red lights as unacceptable but about one-third admit to doing so in the past month.

-Most drivers view drowsy driving as a serious threat, yet 1 in 4 admit to driving while so tired they could barely keep their eyes open at some point in the last month.

-Two-thirds support primary seat-belt laws. Three-quarters of motorists say they always buckle up.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak directly to a lawyer.

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