AAA survey on hazardous driving habits, beliefs

On Feb. 15, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report that found drivers who were aged 19 to 24 were the most likely to engage in dangerous behaviors while they were driving. These actions included speeding, running red lights and emailing or texting while driving. Furthermore, both millennial drivers and those across all age groups admitted to engaging in behaviors they considered dangerous.

For example, more than 40 percent of all drivers confessed to reading an email or text while behind the wheel during the previous month, yet more than 78 percent also said that doing so was unacceptable. There was widespread acceptance of ignition lock requirements for first-time offenders of drunk driving, and almost 64 percent of drivers said that the blood alcohol level should be reduced to 0.5 from 0.8. However, 2.5 percent of drivers acknowledged driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana in the past year.

A further concern is that motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. After dropping for several years, there was an increase in traffic deaths in 2012, and then in 2015, there was a 7 percent increase to more than 35,000 fatalities, the largest number in 50 years. The executive director of the foundation said that it was important for drivers to realize their actions could have fatal consequences.

Even non-fatal accidents could cause permanent consequences for individuals who are injured. People who sustain a traumatic brain injury or paralysis could take weeks or months to recover from the accident. Lost wages and medical expenses can cause financial stress if insurance companies do not offer enough compensation. Injured parties who find themselves in this situation might want to discuss their options with an attorney. A lawyer might be able to help them file lawsuits against the drivers who caused the accident.