EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new AAA study shows there is a “troubling” increase in unsafe driving behaviors from 2020 to 2021.
According to the new survey report, the rise in risky behaviors includes speeding, red-light running, drowsy driving, and driving impaired due to cannabis or alcohol.
The increase comes after three years of steady declines, according to AAA.
Drivers admitting to driving drunk increased by nearly 24%, the report said. Traffic fatalities have also risen by 10.5%.
“The reversal in the frequency of U.S. drivers engaging in risky driving behavior is disturbing,” said Diana Gugliotta, Director of Public Affairs for AAA Northeast. “While drivers acknowledge that certain activities behind the wheel – like speeding and driving impaired, are not safe, many still engage in these activities anyway.”
Below is a breakdown of the increases in risky driving behaviors.
|Unsafe Driving Behavior||2018(%)||2019(%)||2020(%)||2021(%)||Change from 2020 to 2021 (%)|
|Driven 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway||48.9||48.2||45.1||50.7||+12.4|
|Driven while holding and talking on a cell phone||52.1||43.2||37.2||37.4||+0.5|
|Driven while reading a text or email on a cell phone||41.3||38.6||33.9||36.2||+6.8|
|Driven through a red light||31.4||31.1||25.6||28.2||+10.1|
|Driven aggressively by switching lanes quickly or very close behind another car||24.8||26.5||21.3||22.9||+7.5|
|Driven when so tired it was hard to keep eyes open||27.0||23.6||17.3||18.8||+8.7|
|Driven when you had enough alcohol that you thought you were over the legal limit||10.9||9.8||5.9||7.3||+23.7|
|Driven within an hour of consuming cannabis||6.6||6.5||4.4||5.0||+13.6|
AAA is urging drivers to put their devices away, drive the speed limit, don’t drive if drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and always wear a seatbelt.