Los Angeles Law Group – What’s happening on California’s Roads?
Well, the economy is getting a bit better and gas prices are a bit lower which is putting more and more vehicles on our already busy roadways. Whether its personal automobiles or motorcycles for work and leisure use, large tractor trailer’s moving freight and inventory or other commercial vehicles like buses; our roads are becoming increasingly more crowded yielding more opportunities for accidents.
The 2016 Traffic Safety Culture Index (February 2017) published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has some very interesting statistics. They report the following:
- 20% of drivers at one point in their life have been involved in a serious accident and 33% report having a friend or relative killed in a traffic accident.
- Even with these figures, only 70% of drivers believe it is essential to wear a seatbelt while driving and nearly 17% confessed to not wearing a seat belt recently.
- Distracted driving is a clear and rising trend with cell phone use, including talking on the phone, texting and emailing on smartphones is proving to be a substantial issue on our roads.
- There is real hypocrisy on this topic as nearly 67% of drivers admit to talking on a handheld phone while driving yet nearly the same figure of 70% disapprove of the use of cell phones in motor vehicles. Seems like a “do as I say, not as I do” issue, doesn’t it.
- In line with this hypocrisy, depending on the use case, between 70-90% support laws restricting use of cell phones in vehicles. Perhaps, they’re calling their congressman while driving to the office.
- There is a more sensible consensus when it involves impaired or intoxicated drivers.
- Nearly 97% of drivers view driving while intoxicated to be a serious threat to everyone on the roads safety and only 16% admit to having done so recently; so, unlike the cell phone data, at least, it would seem that on the intoxication while driving matter, folks are backing up their opinion with their behavior.
- What does seem very inconsistent and somewhat shocking is that less than 60% of drivers have the same concerns about driving after the use of illegal narcotics. The reason for this isn’t clear but poses some interesting questions about what will happen as more states permit the use of either medical or recreational marijuana. No position on the lawmaking here but one could argue that “impaired is impaired” and any level of reduced motor skill while operating a motor vehicle is a path to tragedy.
- Similarly, nearly 96% of driver view driving while drowsy as a real risk and almost 30% of drivers admit to driving while drowsy.
- Aggressive driving was another interesting area studied.
- Again, there is a disparity in opinion and action as nearly half of all driver admit to speeding yet nearly 80% view this behavior negatively and as a real risk, invoking the “do as I say, not as I do” principle.
Bottom line is, we all share the road and need to get to our destination safely. The Law office of Tawni Takagi has a robust practice in the area of auto accidents. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, give us a call at (310) 954-7248 for a free consultation.