In a recent Harris poll, it appears that Americans are quite aware of the dangerous behaviors they have behind the wheel, but many go right on doing them anyway. Whether texting, talking, or, alas, drinking and driving, there is a major gap between the behaviors drivers know are risky and the behaviors they choose to avoid.
Bad Behavior: Drinking and Driving
The majority of respondents in the Harris survey – 94 percent – agreed that driving after drinking three or more drinks is dangerous or very dangerous; the percentage dropped to 68 when asked about the dangers of driving after one or two drinks. But even though the people polled considered driving while intoxicated poor judgment, 37 percent say they’ve driven after “likely having too much to drink.” Thirty percent said if they were only driving a short distance they would drive after a few drinks. The risks of drinking and driving still exist, whether you’re going 10 yards or 10 miles.
Bad Behavior: Cell Phone Usage
Texting and driving – it’s one of the worst behaviors out there. And the perception about cell phone usage among drivers is negative, according to the Harris poll. Texting while driving is considered dangerous or very dangerous by 94 percent while 91 percent think reading texts while driving is dangerous or very dangerous.
Interestingly enough, 69 percent of poll respondents said talking on a handheld cell phone is dangerous, but only 36 percent thought that talking on a hands-free device was dangerous. The opinion is split almost down the middle about reading texts while stopped at a red light – 51 percent say it’s all right to do so while 49 percent do not think it’s OK.
Here are some other frightening stats about cell phone usage while driving:
- 74 percent of people talk on their cell phone while driving
- 45 percent read texts while driving
- 37 percent send texts while driving
- 24 percent have posted to social media
- 13 percent have watched a video on their phone or tablet
Not surprisingly, these bad behaviors are most common and most often engaged in among the younger generation, fondly referred to as the Millenials.
Bad Behaviors: The Passenger Risk
While drivers make their own poor decisions every day, there are just as many passengers who allow the behaviors to occur without objecting. Six out of 10 respondents have ridden shotgun with a driver who was talking on their cell phone while four out of 10 have ridden alongside a texting driver.
Of those surveyed, 69 percent believe that passengers should not bear any legal responsibility if an accident occurs because of a distracted driver, while 59 percent believe passengers riding with a drunk driver should not take any of the blame.
Bad behavior and poor judgment are the culprits behind most auto accidents. If you have been the victim of a distracted-driving auto accident in Michigan, contact Femminineo Attorneys PLLC to speak with personal injury attorney David C. Femminineo about your case.