Are Our Driving Skills A Collective Effort?

How’s Your Driving?

Most Americans believe that they are above average divers; despite the statement’s impossibility.  A recent Allstate survey shows that despite a pugnaciousness about our skills behind the wheel, most of us knowingly practice dangerous driving. A few of the survey’s disconnects are, that despite 64% of American drivers rating themselves as “excellent” or “very good” drivers, the survey shows that:

  • Eighty-nine percent say they’ve driven faster than the posted speed limit, and 40 percent say they’ve driven more than 20 miles per hour over the limit.
  • Almost half (45 percent) say they have driven while excessively tired – to the point of almost falling asleep.
  • Fifteen percent say they have driven while intoxicated, with men almost four times more likely than women to have done so (23 percent of men versus six percent of women).
  • More than one-third (34 percent) have sent a text-message or email while driving, but the prevalence of the practice changes by age group.
  • Seven in 10 American drivers say that as a result of being distracted while driving, they have slammed their brakes or swerved to avoid an accident, missed a traffic signal, or actually caused an accident.
  • Fifty-six percent of American drivers say they have been involved in an accident, but only 28 percent of them say the accident was their own fault.
* via PR Newswire.

My Own Driving

I’m recovering from the “I’m above-average” complex. I believe I’ve done all of the above. I’m beginning to realize that despite having quick reflexes and good eye-sight, there is a world of distractions and nudges in the world conspiring to make driving difficult and dangerous. I’m not even talking about winter driving. An incident from a month ago has been on my mind lately that I’d like to share and is reflective of how I’ve examined interactions between modes on the streets this summer.