Dangerous behaviors drivers engage in despite knowing the risks
Many Omaha drivers know the impact of distracted driving, speeding, aggressive driving and driving under the influence. Some are even aware of the laws regarding these driving behaviors. For example, in Nebraska:
- Drivers can be fined $200 for a first texting and driving offense. Fines increase to $300 for a second offense and $500 for a subsequent offense.
- Driving drunk can result in jail time, hundreds of dollars in fines and driver's license suspension for up to six months.
- Drivers can be stopped and ticketed for speeding and even arrested for driving at extremely dangerous speeds.
Some drivers never learn
Some drivers have been in trouble with the law, yet have never learned from it. What about drivers who were involved in crashes? According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, many of them haven't learned either.
The study was published in AAA's most recent annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. It involves survey results of 2,714 drivers from the fall of 2019. Participants were asked how they viewed dangerous driving behaviors and if they, themselves, engaged in them.
Nearly all survey participants viewed texting and driving and drowsy driving as "extremely dangerous." Ninety-six percent of participants said they viewed texting and driving as risky as drowsy driving. Many of them admitted to engaging in some form of risky driving within the last 30 days of the survey and nearly half were aware that they could be stopped by police.
Here are some of the leading dangerous behaviors drivers admitted to within the last 30 days:
- 50% of drivers who were previously involved in crashes admitted to talking on cellphones, compared to 42% who were not involved in crashes.
- 43% of drivers who were previously involved in crashes admitted to texting and driving, compared to 27% who were not involved in crashes.
- 39% of drivers who were previously involved in crashes admitted to running red lights, compared to 30% who were not involved in crashes.
If you compare these results with a similar survey conducted in 2018, there have been some minor improvements. For example, there has been a nine percent reduction in drivers who admitted to talking on cellphones and a three percent reduction in drivers who admitted to texting or driving while drowsy.
What can drivers do to avoid making the same errors?
Drivers who have a history of dangerous driving behaviors need to develop new habits. AAA offers some tips on how to accomplish this.
- Keep all cellphones and handheld devices out of reach while driving.
- Disable texting and calling features to avoid having to reach for a cellphone.
- Allow more time to get from point A to point B and never underestimate hazardous road or weather conditions.
- Never drive while drowsy. Simply get off the road and take a nap or avoid driving altogether.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or certain prescription medications.
- Always wear a seatbelt and encourage passengers to do the same.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash because of someone else's negligent or reckless behavior, contact an experienced Omaha car accident attorney at Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O. to learn about the legal options available to you. Our legal consultations are confidential and free of charge.