Two-Thirds of U.S. Drivers Break the Law Behind the Wheel

It might seem like just a minor infrac­tion, nudg­ing the speedome­ter a few miles an hour over the lim­it. Or maybe you’ve hit the gas, instead of the brake, when the stop­light was about to turn red.

The real­i­ty is that the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of Amer­i­can motorists rou­tine­ly break the law while dri­ving, about one in five doing so on a dai­ly basis, accord­ing to a new sur­vey by Two out of three motorists admit they’ve bro­ken the law at one time or anoth­er.

“It can be all too easy to become a com­pla­cent dri­ver after years of expe­ri­ence behind the wheel,” said the web­sites founder and CEO Nick Swan. “But the fact of the mat­ter is that care­less dri­ving and not pay­ing atten­tion to the road could not only be endan­ger­ing you, it could also be fatal for inno­cent indi­vid­u­als around you.”

Accord­ing to data from the Nation­al High­way Traf­fic Safe­ty Admin­is­tra­tion, dri­ver error is blamed for about 90% of all acci­dents, speed­ing being list­ed by the gov­ern­ment agency as one of the three most dead­ly infrac­tions.

The web­site sur­veyed 2,849 Amer­i­can motorists by e-mail, all over the age of 21, and all dri­ving at least once a day. When asked if they “ever know­ing­ly break the law” behind the wheel, a full 67% respond­ed, “yes.”

When asked what laws they had bro­ken in the last month, the most com­mon vio­la­tions were:

• Speed­ing, 63%
• Dri­ving with­out a seat­belt, 51%
• Dri­ving under the influ­ence of alco­hol, 21%
• Using a phone behind the wheel, 19%
• Run­ning a stop sign, 9%

A full 77% of the respon­dents not­ed that they have seen anoth­er dri­ver break­ing the law with­in the last month.

Some might think the num­bers are actu­al­ly low. It’s hard to find any­one who hasn’t received some sort of mov­ing vio­la­tion at one point or anoth­er. But per­haps the more telling sta­tis­tic is the fact that 21% of those sur­veyed admit­ted break­ing one law or anoth­er behind the wheel every day, while 43% con­fessed to doing so at least once a week.

If there’s a pos­i­tive side to the sur­vey, 82% of the respon­dents also said they drove more care­ful­ly when there are oth­er pas­sen­gers or chil­dren in their vehi­cle.


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