AAA Survey: We Don't Like Distracted Driving, But We Do It Anyway

Feb 12, 2015

AAA says about 5,000 people in the U.S. are killed in distracted driving crashes each year.
Credit Phil's 1stPix/flickr

Drivers spend more than half their time focused on something other than driving, according to a new survey that shows we know it’s bad to drive while distracted but do it anyway.

Drivers admit they regularly speed and use their smartphones. They also play with the radio, program the GPS and drive while sleepy.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says one-third of drivers surveyed say they take these risks often, even though they have a loved one who was killed or seriously hurt in a crash. The same drivers describe their own actions as being a serious threat or unacceptable.

“Yet that doesn’t mirror their behaviors. So it’s kind of like do as I say, not as I do," says Triple A’s Matt Nasworthy. "For example, when it comes to red-light running, most people absolutely find that unacceptable, yet more than a third admit to doing it once in the past 30 days.” 

Nasworthy says about one-fifth of all fatal crashes involve distracted driving, leading to 5,000 deaths nationwide each year.

Floridians tend to commit the same bad driving habits seen nationally. One exception is using the Internet while driving. Almost a quarter of Florida drivers admit to doing this, which is slightly more than the national average.