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Drivers fall back into bad habits


Recent research done by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that drivers who have been in at least one car crash in the past two years are significantly more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding or texting. After three months of staying home and off the roads, AAA released a statement urging drivers to keep everyone safe on the roads and warns motorists against falling back into their dangerous driving habits.

“The frequency of drivers in the United States engaging in improper behavior is too high. While drivers acknowledge certain activities behind the wheel – like texting – are dangerous, some do them anyway,” said Aldo Vazquez, Spokesperson for AAA Montana. “We need to be aware of the serious consequences of engaging in these types of dangerous driving behaviors and change course.” Research from the foundation’s Traffic Safety found that drivers do understand that distracted and impaired driving is dangerous, but also admits to engaging in these behaviors in the 30 days before the survey was taken.

Data shows that 50% of those involved in a recent crash admit to talking on a hand-held device while driving in the past month, versus 42% not involved in a crash. Forty-three percent of those involved in a recent crash admit to texting while driving in the past month, versus 27% not involved in a crash. Thirty-nine percent of those involved in a recent crash admit to running a red light in the past month, versus 30% not involved in a crash.

Out of all the dangerous driving habits, the drivers who were surveyed voted on the top two habits they thought were the most dangerous. Driving when you are so tired, you can’t keep your eyes open, and driving while reading or send a text message or email. However, those same readers, despite the fear of getting pulled over by the police, will still read (43.7%) or send a text message (42.7%) when behind the wheel.

AAA did say it’s not all bad news, studies show that from 2018 drivers are talking on the phone less, 43.2% from 52.1%. “If you are frustrated by dangerous driving behaviors you see other drivers engaging in, but then turn around and do those same things yourself, you are part of the problem,” Vazquez said. “It’s encouraging to see a slight shift toward safer driving behaviors, but we have more to do.”


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