News

Study: One in 10 people have driven drunk

Nearly one out of 10 people admit they have recently driven while drunk, while most believe they are more careful drivers than others, according to a study released today (Tuesday) by AAA.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that while nearly 10 percent of motorists surveyed admitted to driving drunk during the previous month, they cited drinking and driving as the most serious safety issue on the road, and most also rated running red lights and driving while using a cell phone as serious problems.

The study raises questions about whether drivers are being honest with themselves, according to AAA of Northern California spokesman Michael Geeser.

"The 'do as I say but not as I do' mentality needs to end," Geeser said.

Three out of four motorists surveyed said they were more careful than others behind the wheel, the study reported.

And while more than 80 percent also rated distracted drivers as a serious problem, more than half said they had used a cell phone while driving and 14 percent admitted to text messaging while driving, according to the study.

More than half of the motorists surveyed said they have sped up to get past yellow lights, and 5 percent admitted running red lights, despite more than 70 percent rating red light running as a serious problem, the study reported.

Geeser advised drivers to "take more responsibility for their own driving instead of blaming the other guy."

According to AAA, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 2 to 34. AAA reports there are more than 40,000 fatalities on U.S. roads nearly every year.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

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Posted by Paly Student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

I found this interesting story about teenage drunk driving on the Paly Voice. Check it out for more information about the issue!

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2008 at 12:08 am

Well underage drinking is an interesting issue.

Because of zero tolerance anyone with even a little tiny bit of alcohol in their system is considered legally drunk, even when they are in no way, shape, or form actually drunk.

This will be enough to skew the statistics.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2008 at 9:23 am

KTVU Fox channel 2, is doing a report today saying that so much teen drinking is due to Parents giving the alcohol to appear cool.

This is horrendous if it is true.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 30, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Of course its true; alcohol is regulated and difficult for underage individuals to procure on their own. Of course, if mom and dad happen to have a liquor collection around (which many do), then it becomes easy to get. Of course, instead of society (and especially parents) taking some amount of personal responsibility for the issue, which could involve some form of inconvenience (i.e. locking liquor up), we instead throw money at addressing the symptoms instead of the problem. Its easier to have more cops enforcing DUI arrests or increase funding for the justice system then actually going after the root of the problem I suppose.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 30, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Oh, and I would say that 1 in 10 is a very small number compared to the reality. People are probably being somewhat dishonest and unwilling to cop to their irresponsible past actions. Also, personal interpretation is an issue here, since many of the 90% of people surveyed who denied driving drunk probably have driven with a BAC over the legal limit. Just because you weren't stumbling drunk doesn't mean you weren't intoxicated.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ada
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I support the idea of raising fines for all traffic violations, and especially for drunk driving. The extra funds can be spent on improving roads, local parks, etc. If the fine for speeding is $400 - $600 instead of $200-$300 people would likely be more cautious.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

"I support the idea of raising fines for all traffic violations, and especially for drunk driving. The extra funds can be spent on improving roads, local parks, etc. If the fine for speeding is $400 - $600 instead of $200-$300 people would likely be more cautious. "

I believe the current cost of a Drunk Driving violation (and accompanying legal fees, etc.) is already very, very high. I'm not sure making it more costly would do much, if anything.


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