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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Speeding Triples the Chances of an Auto Accident

AAA Foundation Identifies Four Behaviors That Increase Odds of a Crash

According to a recent study sponsored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, driving faster than current traffic, driving while tired, over-aggressive driving, and a general lack of attention are factors associated with increased risk of being involved in crashes.

You will be sharing the road with 51 million people between Christmas and January 1, according to AAA estimates, so it behooves you to know how to reduce the chances of being involved in an auto accident or having to head to traffic school as a result of a ticket.

AAA Foundation's researchers have identified four driving behaviors that directly impact an increased crash risk.
  • Speeding almost triples the odds of being involved in an accident.
  • Driving while fatigued similarly increases the odds of an accident.
  • Aggressive driving nearly doubled the odds of having an accident.
  • When a lack of attention by a driver (for example, taking one's eyes off the road for more than two seconds) is a factor, the odds of a crash also nearly double compared to the odds of a driver paying attention to the road.
The AAA Foundation's report "How Risky Is It? An assessment of the relative risk of engaging in potentially unsafe driving behaviors," is available online at

"Unfortunately, many drivers choose to drive and behave in ways that increase their risk of crashing," said Community Safety Services manager for AAA Michigan Jack Peet. "It is our desire to reduce the number of crashes this holiday season by educating all drivers about specific behaviors that increase their crash risk. Although you may have driven too fast or while fatigued in the past and haven't crashed yet, these risks are real and thus will eventually catch up with you if you continue to drive in this manner."

Drunk driving continues to contribute to unnecessary deaths and injuries, Peet added, particularly during the holiday season.

The AAA Foundation conducted the study to understand more about the relative risks associated with driving behaviors known to be dangerous from earlier studies. The statistics utilized for the analyses in this report were gathered during the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study carried out by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The 100-Car Study collected continuous, real-time data from a sample of 109 primary and 132 secondary drivers in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area over a 12- to 13-month period. Electronic and sensors in the automobiles let researchers record data on a number of driving behaviors (such as speeding and safety belt use).

For more information about driver safety, The National Safety Commission and Lowest Price Traffic School offer safe teen driving resources for new drivers and their parents.

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