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Front Page » May 1, 2008 » Local News » Survey results indicate motorists fail to comply with tra...
Published 2,426 days ago

Survey results indicate motorists fail to comply with traffic laws, safety guidelines


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Not all of the motorists traveling along the roadways in Carbon County, across Utah and throughout the United States appear to be practicing what the drivers and traffic safety officials preach.

A report recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that almost 10 percent of motorists surveyed admitted to driving during the previous month depsite thinking their blood alcohol content levels exceeded the established legal limits.

The admissions from surveyed drivers came despite the fact that motorists cited drinking and driving as the most serious traffic safety issue.

"The do as I say, but not as I do mentality needs to end," emphasized Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. "No one thinks of themselves as a bad driver. Yet every 13 minutes, someone dies on America's roads and the nation seems complacent about these preventable tragedies."

Drinking and driving isn't the only area where drivers aren't being honest with themselves.

The report finds three out of four motorists believed that they are more careful than others behind the wheel and more than 80 percent of motorists rated distracted driving as a serious problem.

Nevertheless, more than one-half of the same individuals contacted by the researchers admitted to talking on the cell phone while driving in the last month.

And 14 percent of the motorists admitted to reading or sending text messages while operating motor vehicles.

More than seven out of 10 motorists contacted by the researchers rated red light running as a serious problem, pointed out the AAA study.

Nevertheless, more than one-half of the same individuals admitted to speeding up to get through yellow lights.

And 5 percent admitted to having run a red light on purpose in the past month.

In addition, the AAA traffic safety report highlighted the silent toll crashes are taking on people's lives.

Nearly one of every four people interviewed reported having been injured in a crash at some point in their lives.

And nearly one in three of the individuals reported having a close friend or relative permanently disabled or killed in a crash.

Despite the dramatic number of personal experiences people have had with motor vehicle accidents, the majority of Americans appear to have virtually no idea how significant the toll really is, indicated the AAA report.

More than one in four people polled by the researchers guessed that 10,000 or fewer victims died annually in traffic crashes.

Another 14 percent of the survey respondents estimated that the number was more than 100,000, while one in four of declined to venture a guess.

All told, only one in three Americans correctly estimated somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 people die annually in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S.

Traffic crashes are the leading killer of people between the ages of 2 to 34 years old, according to nationwide statistics. The overall death toll on U.S. roadways have exceeded 40,000 everyyear since the early 1960s, with the sole exception of 1992.

"All of us should work to build a better traffic safety culture, where more than 40,000 deaths annually is considered unacceptable, where drivers take more responsibility for their own driving instead of blaming the other guy," stressed Fairclough.


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