A basic set of questions were developed that could be used in periodic surveys that track drivers attitudes and awareness concerning impaired driving, seat belt use, and speeding issues. The objective of the survey was to learn the knowledge, views, and behaviors of drivers in these areas. This report documents the results of the 2011 survey with a comparison to the 2010 baseline survey.
The method used to conduct the survey was a telephone survey. In addition to questions for the three major highway safety areas of impaired driving, seat belt use, and speeding, an additional question was added which dealt with distracted driving. General information about the driver’s sex, age, ethnic or racial group, and education was also obtained. A total of 503 interviews were completed.
The survey shows that drivers do not self-report many violations in their driving behavior. Only a few drivers admitted to violating the law in the areas surveyed (safety belt use, speeding, and impaired driving). For example, the percentage of drivers who indicated they used their safety belt “all of the time” was higher than the observed usage rate of safety belts.
The survey shows a high level of media and enforcement awareness. The majority of surveyed drivers had heard about enforcement related to drinking and driving while approximately one half were aware of speeding and safety belt enforcement. This percentage decreased in 2011 compared to 2010 with the most substantial decrease for safety belt enforcement. The large majority of drivers felt they were somewhat likely to receive a ticket if they violated the law in these areas.
The most common type of distraction was talking on a cell phone. Slightly over one-half reported using a cell phone while driving. Distracted driving was much more common for the youngest age category of 18 to 34 years of age. The percentage reporting testing while driving increased in 2011 compared to 2010.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/eric_green/24/