The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a new report with alarming results – there was a significant increase in unsafe driving behaviors from 2020 to 2021. These unsafe driving behaviors, which often lead to serious personal injuries and death, include drowsy driving, red-light running, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis. In its release, the foundation points out that the data collected reveals the need for improved public education on road safety in order to turn this dangerous trend around.
Results of the Survey
The survey was conducted online with more than 2,600 participants. All participants were U.S. licensed drivers who were aged 16 years or older. Some of the results of the survey revealed the following comparison from this year’s survey to the prior year’s:
- There was a 24 percent increase in drivers who admitted to driving after drinking enough alcohol that would put them over the legal limit (0.08 percent in the majority of states).
- There was a 13 percent increase in the number of drivers who drove within an hour of consuming cannabis.
- There was a 10 percent increase in the number of drivers who admitted to running a red light.
- There was a 12 percent increase in the number of drivers who admitted to driving 15 mph or more than the posted speed limit.
What These Numbers Mean
To understand what these increases in dangerous driving behaviors mean, all one has to do is look at the increase in the number of people killed in traffic accidents. According to data from the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 43,000 people died in crashes in 2021, a more than 10 percent increase over the number of traffic fatalities in 2020. This is the highest number of fatalities since 2005.
Research shows that speeding is a key factor in this increase. One study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that speeding became more commonplace during morning and evening commutes in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Unfortunately, those speeding never slowed down even as the shutdown ended and traffic resumed to “normal.”
According to a study issued by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in July, speeding by motorists increased during the morning and afternoon commuting hours in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and never slowed down.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions we take, there is always the risk of a speeding driver crashing into us. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was speeding, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to see what type of financial damages you may be entitled to. The legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today for a free case evaluation.