Study: Bad Driving Has Americans on Edge

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April 8, 2022—According to a new study from Nationwide Insurance, drivers are practicing poor driving behavior despite fears of others driving dangerously. Drivers in the study say the road is considerably more dangerous today than before the pandemic, with half saying that driving is more stressful.

According to the Nationwide report, compared to 2020, 81 percent think drivers are more aggressive, 79 percent think drivers drive faster, and 76 percent think drivers are more reckless

In addition, more than a third of drivers surveyed (34 percent) believe it's safe to hold your phone while driving—whether that is to make a call, send a text, or use navigation.

“Half of the drivers Nationwide surveyed said in the last six months they have held a cell phone to talk, text or use an app while driving,” Beth Riczko, Nationwide’s president of P&C personal lines says. “Far too many drivers are multitasking behind the wheel, putting everyone at risk by creating dangers for themselves, their passengers, pedestrians, and others on the road.” 

Despite reports of increasing danger, everyone thinks other drivers are to blame and they aren't the ones contributing to the problem. Around 85 percent rate their driving as excellent or very good, but only 29 percent give the same rating to other drivers on the road around them. The study also shines a light on which people think they are good drivers, despite admitting to engaging in potentially reckless driving. Despite two-thirds of drivers (66 percent) saying that holding a cell phone to talk, text or use an app while driving is dangerous, for example, half (51 percent) reported doing this in the past six months.

The study alsonotes that drivers surveyed admitted to doing one of the following during the past 12 months: driving 10+mph over the speed limit (54 percent); eating while behind the wheel (53 percent); audibly yelled at another driver (23 percent); haven given an obscene gesture (21 percent); or ran a stop sign/light (17 percent).

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