Dangerous Driving Accidents on the Rise

Dangerous Driving accidents

Dangerous driving accidents are increasing due to a “disturbing” growth in reckless driving activity” in recent years, according to AAA. Examples of unsafe driving practices include speeding, disregarding traffic signals, driving while fatigued, and operating a vehicle while using alcohol or marijuana.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that traffic fatalities increased by 10.5 percent in 2021, with an estimated 42,915 individuals losing their lives due to road accidents, in comparison to 38,824 in 2020. The increase was likely caused by the rise in dangerous driving accidents.

Dangerous Driving Accidents Behavior

AAA’s survey data revealed that when compared to 2020, the number of drivers confessing to running a red light had grown more than 10 percent. In addition, analysts noted a rise of more than 12 percent in drivers admitting to driving within an hour after consuming cannabis and a nearly 24 percent increase in drivers confessing to driving when they believed they were too inebriated to do so.

“The reversal in the frequency of U.S. drivers engaging in risky driving behavior is disturbing. While drivers acknowledge that certain activities behind the wheel – like speeding and driving impaired, are not safe, many still engage in these activities anyway,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “We must be aware of the serious consequences of dangerous driving behaviors and change course.”

Reducing Dangerous Driving Accidents

AAA recommends these safety tips to reduce dangerous driving accidents:

  • Out of sight, out of mind. Stow your smartphone away, turn it to airplane mode, or activate call/text blocking features like Apple’s Do Not Disturb.
  • Slow down. Drivers tend to overestimate the time saved by speeding. Speed kills and isn’t worth the cost.
  • Stay alert. Stop driving if you become sleepy because you can fall asleep anytime. Fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment, and vision.
  • Drive sober. If you consume marijuana or alcohol, then don’t drive. If you are taking potentially impairing prescription medications, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist how best to stay safe AND healthy behind the wheel.
  • Buckle your seat belt for every ride. It does not matter where in the vehicle you are seated. A properly worn seatbelt is the most effective way to survive a traffic crash.

“The privilege of driving comes with great responsibility, which some motorists are not taking seriously,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “Fortunately, we know that reinforcing safe behavior with someone we know can influence them to change, so on our next ride with a passenger, let’s show them how it’s done safely. Together we can move closer to zero traffic deaths.”

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