Stay the hell away from American roads if given the choice. A new survey by the American Automobile Association suggests US drivers are beginning to have a more care-free attitude to dangerous driving.
The study shows the percentage of people who think drinking and driving is potentially dangerous has fallen from 90 per cent in 2009 to a mere 69 per cent in 2012. Their concerns about drowsy driving also fell: from 71 per cent to 46 per cent over the same period.
Yanks also appear to have relaxed their opinions on running traffic lights. Just 77 per cent thought blasting through a red light was unacceptable driving behaviour, down from 70 per cent. Almost 40 per cent of those surveyed admitting to running a red light within the previous month.
The findings coincide with the first annual increase in American traffic fatalities in seven years. Driving deaths were up by approximately 5.3 per cent, hitting a total of 34,080 in 2012 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Motorists may be growing more complacent about potential safety risks behind the wheel,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of AAA, via a press release. “A ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude remains common with many motorists consistently admitting to engaging in the same dangerous behaviours for which they would condemn other drivers.”
“We have made great strides in recent years to reduce road deaths, but there are still too many needless fatalities caused by dangerous driving,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “It is clear that more must be done to address the dangers of drunk, aggressive and drowsy driving to stem this concerning trend.”