Survey of Americans who drive dangerously

March 24, 2018

Be it a morning commute, or grocery run, driving is a routine part of daily life. It’s also the most dangerous thing we do. While most people are cautious, law-abiding citizens behind the wheel, many are not. 

We analyzed four types of dangerous driving and surveyed 2,000 Americans willing to admit they’re part of the problem. See our full report below.

Awareness is a powerful motivator for curbing bad behavior. Passengers and peers can help prevent reckless driving by speaking up. However, not all bad driving behavior is treated equally. While half of aggressive drivers have been confronted about their hostility on the road, only 37 percent of intoxicated drivers have reportedly been called out for driving under the influence.

Only through conscious change can behavior improve. Interestingly, both rushed and aggressive drivers found, with practice, they could improve their driving: 64 percent of each group successfully tried to improve their behavior. An impressive 75 percent of intoxicated drivers stopped driving under the influence. However, 22 percent of distracted drivers haven’t even tried to stop multitasking behind the wheel.

It’s possible this statistic speaks to a double driving standard: while driving under the influence is illegal, cell phone use has become so ubiquitous, some see distracted driving as a necessary evil. Ultimately, the onus lies on the driver. We found 65 percent of dangerous drivers attributed their personality as the main factor causing their behavior, as opposed to the influence of family or friends.

Certain driving trends form along gender and geographic lines. While women are more likely to be confronted about rushed driving, men are more likely to receive negative feedback about distracted, aggressive or intoxicated behavior. Regionally speaking, the coasts are more likely to attribute hazardous driving to feeling rushed, as opposed to Midwestern drivers, who claim distraction is their greatest obstacle.

By far, millennials are the greatest menaces to mobile society: 1 in 4 millennials have tried and failed to change their dangerous driving behavior. Boomers, however, are more likely to underestimate their abilities while driving under the influence.

Methodology: We surveyed 2,000 Americans who have behaved dangerously in one of four ways, in the last three months (except for intoxicated driving, which could have occurred any time in the last 12 months). Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 75 and represented all 50 U.S. states. Survey was conducted over two weeks in March 2018.

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