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Study Shows Americans Less Concerned about Dangerous Driving Behaviors

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Aug. 23, 2013—Americans are less likely to perceive a serious threat from dangerous driving behaviors such as drunk, aggressive or drowsy driving, according to an analysis of four years of public surveys conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The decreased concern is accompanied by the first annual increase of traffic fatalities in seven years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic fatalities rose an estimated 5.3 percent in 2012, totaling more than 34,000 deaths nationwide.

Survey results during the past four years show decreased concern for drinking and driving (90 percent in 2009; 69 percent in 2012), drowsy driving (71 percent in 2009; 46 percent in 2012), texting or emailing while driving (87 percent in 2009; 81 percent in 2012) and running red lights (77 percent in 2009; 70 percent in 2012).

“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.”

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