Driving faster than surrounding traffic, driving while drowsy, not paying attention and aggressive driving are associated with increased risk of being involved in crashes, according to a recent study sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA estimates that 51 million people will be on the road between Christmas and New Years, so it is essential to know how to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a crash. The AAA Foundation’s research found four driving behaviors directly associated with an increased crash risk:
  • Speeding was found to nearly triple the odds of being involved in a crash.
  • Driving while drowsy was associated with a similar increase in the odds of being involved in a crash.
  • When a driver’s eyes were off the road for more than two seconds, for any reason, the odds of a crash occurring were nearly double those of a driver paying attention to the road.
  • The odds of a crash more than doubled when a driver exhibited aggressive driving behaviors. The data used for the analyses in this report were collected during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), using video and electronic sensors in the vehicles. The AAA Foundation's mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. The report "How Risky Is It? An assessment of the relative risk of engaging in potentially unsafe driving behaviors," is available online at www.aaafoundation.org.