Driving is Getting Under Drivers' Skin

July 14, 2005
Nearly half of those surveyed in a new poll say they find driving more aggravating than just 2 years ago, with one in four calling it much more aggravating.

While an equal number of drivers cited aggressive and distracted drivers as the greatest safety threats on the road, the third annual Drive for Life poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, found most drivers admitting to one or more of those behaviors themselves:

  • Sixty-eight percent of drivers admit to speeding, and three out of four say it's acceptable to drive five miles per hour over the speed limit.
  • One in four drivers even say driving 10 miles per hour over the limit is acceptable. Those numbers climb among young drivers, ages 16-20, with 88 percent sanctioning speeds five miles per hour over the limit and more than 50 percent approving speeds of 10 miles per hour over the limit.
  • One in three drivers surveyed admit to driving while emotionally upset and 16 percent say they have driven in a hostile or aggressive manner because they were late.
  • While one in three drivers say cell phone usage by other drivers is their greatest aggravation on the road, 43 percent say they use a cell phone while driving. And 70 percent of parents of teen drivers say their children have cell phones. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have laws restricting cell phones while driving, while 19 states also track mobile phone involvement in auto crashes.
  • Beyond talking on a cell phone, most drivers admit to engaging in at least one distracting behavior, with 52 percent saying they eat while driving and 17 percent saying they read while driving. Ten percent of drivers surveyed said a romantic moment has competed with their attention while driving.

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