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Unsafe Driving Behaviors Continue to Rise, New Study Finds

Car recklessly speeding down a road with a blurred background.

Some of the most dangerous driving behaviors associated with car accidents increased dramatically in 2021, according to a recent traffic safety study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"The reversal in the frequency of U.S. drivers engaging in risky driving behavior is disturbing," David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation, said in a statement, according to Forbes. "While drivers acknowledge that certain activities behind the wheel – like speeding and driving impaired, are not safe, many still engage in these activities anyway."

What dangerous driving behaviors are on the rise?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied unsafe driving behaviors based on answers given by drivers in the annual survey. In each case, more drivers admitted to engaging in unsafe driving habits in 2021 compared to previous years.

"The privilege of driving comes with great responsibility, which some motorists are not taking seriously," Jake Nelson, AAA's director of traffic safety advocacy and research, said in a recent statement.

You can learn more about which unsafe driving habits drivers engaged in nationwide and in Indiana in recent years.

Excessive speeding

Speeding remains one of the most common causes of car accidents. That's why the 2021 data collected in the AAA study was so startling. According to the AAA study, 12.4 percent more drivers admitted to driving at least 15 mph over the speed limit nationwide in 2021 compared to 2020.

As for Indiana, speeding remains a serious problem here as well. According to the latest NHTSA crash data, the number of speeding-related car accident deaths in Indiana increased by 25.9 percent between 2018 and 2020 to 238 deaths.

Distracted driving

The AAA study focused on two types of distracted driving – driving while talking on a cellphone and texting while driving. In both cases, more drivers admitted to being distracted while driving in 2021 compared to 2020.

Specifically, 0.5 percent more drivers admitted to talking on a cellphone or holding a cellphone nationwide in 2021 compared to 2020. As for texting drivers, 6.8 percent more drivers admitted to doing so in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the AAA study.

Running a red light

Another common reason why drivers cause collisions involves running a red light. In 2021, 10.1 percent more drivers admitted to running a red light compared to 2020, according to the AAA study.

Aggressive driving

Aggressive driving has also gotten worse in recent years. According to the AAA study, 7.5 percent more drivers admitted to changing lanes without warning or aggressively tailgating in 2021 compared to 2020 nationwide.

Tired driving

Falling asleep at the wheel often results in serious accidents, and there are ever more tired drivers on the road. In 2021, 8.7 percent more drivers admitted to driving tired than in 2020, according to the AAA study.

Drunk driving and other types of impaired driving

Perhaps the most dangerous drivers on the road are drivers under the influence of alcohol or cannabis. In 2021, an astounding 23.7 percent more drivers admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol compared to 2020, according to the AAA study. As for drivers who consumed cannabis within one hour of driving, 13.6 more drivers admitted to doing in 2021 as compared to 2020 nationwide.

Contact a car accident attorney if you've been injured.

Don't assume you will be fairly compensated just because a reckless driver caused your collision. In many cases, you need to take action immediately to get the money you rightfully deserve for your injury-related expenses after your car crash.

The car accident lawyers at Vaughan & Vaughan can help you every step of the way. We know how the legal system works in Indiana. We know what evidence to look for and which legal strategies are the most effective.

Discover what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with an Indiana car accident attorney you can trust. Our law firm has six offices conveniently located throughout Indiana, including offices in Indianapolis and Lafayette. In addition, we handle injury claims on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we obtain a financial settlement or verdict for you.

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