With the economy opening up after remaining closed during the coronavirus pandemic and as more drivers return to the roadways, AAA is urging motorists to avoid falling back into their dangerous driving habits. According to a news report, AAA tracked drivers’ habits in a study conducted before the pandemic hit. The study shows a significant gap between what drivers consider dangerous and what they actually do while driving.
AAA officials say the pandemic has highlighted the extent to which individual decisions and behaviors can have an effect on the health and safety of others. The AAA report found that drivers perceive distracted, aggressive, drowsy and impaired driving as dangerous and yet, many admit to engaging in at least one of these behaviors in the 30 days prior to the survey.
For example, 94.3% of motorists said being on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, but 38.6% of those surveyed said they had done exactly that in the past 30 days. Some of the other common risky behaviors include typing on a cell phone, talking on a handheld cell phone, driving over the speed limit, running a red light, driving while fatigued, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (recreational and prescription).
Clearly, some of these behaviors are not just risky, but also illegal. In California, it is against the law to operate a vehicle while holding a handheld cell phone. It is also of course against the law to operate a vehicle while under the influence or run a red light.
Tips for Safety
As we head back to work, it is important to remember the following safety tips on the road:
- Put your cell phone away. You can also switch it to airplane mode or activate call/text blocking features such as Apple’s Do Not Disturb.
- During the coronavirus pandemic, speeding has been the deadliest violation on our roadways. Do not drive over the speed limit or at a speed that is dangerous given traffic or weather conditions.
- Remain alert. If you are getting sleepy, pull to the side of the road for some rest. Fatigue can affect reaction time, judgment and vision.
- Do not drive if you have been drinking or using drugs.
- Watch for vulnerable road users. During the pandemic walking and biking have become increasingly popular. Drivers have the responsibility to share the road safely with bicyclists and pedestrians.
If a negligent driver has injured you or a loved one, please contact an experienced California car accident lawyer to obtain more information about your legal rights and options.