Survey Reveals ‘Do As I Say, Not As I Do’ Attitude Among VA Drivers

Mar 26, 2015 | Auto Accidents

Based on the results of a recently published AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, Virginia drivers recognize dangerous driving behaviors that can lead to auto accidents. However, many admit to engaging in those same risky behaviors.

AAA reports that 2,705 licensed drivers in the U.S. took part in the Traffic Safety Culture Index survey, including 391 drivers in Virginia. The goal of the survey was to identify whether drivers value traffic safety – and whether they are doing anything to make driving safer for themselves and others on the road.

Unfortunately, AAA found that a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude exists among too many drivers in Virginia and across the country. For example:


The consensus view is that speeding is dangerous and a leading cause of car accidents. For instance, the majority of drivers in Virginia said they found driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway to be “somewhat or completely unacceptable” (76 percent). Also, 64 percent said they viewed drivers speeding on freeways to be a “very or somewhat serious threat.”

However, 40 percent of the same drivers said they had done so within the past month, and 9 percent of the drivers said they did so “regularly or fairly often.”

This attitude may explain why there has been a recent spike in speeding-related traffic fatalities in Virginia. According to the most recent Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) statistics, there was an 8.3 percent increase in fatalities caused by speeding between 2012 and 2013.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a serious issue in our state. The DMV reports there were 253 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Virginia in 2013 – a nearly 10.5 percent increase from the year before. In Richmond during that year, 274 alcohol-involved crashes occurred, killing five people and injuring 178 others.

The good news: Drinking and driving is one area where drivers’ attitudes match their actions. Progress is clearly being made in this area.

In the AAA survey, 98 percent of Virginia drivers said they believed it was unacceptable for people to drive after they have had too much to drink. Also, only 1 percent said they had driven within the past 30 days when they thought they were close to or possibly over the legal driving limit (0.08 BAC).

Distracted Driving

In contrast to drinking and driving, attitudes clearly do not sync with behavior among Virginia drivers when it comes to distracted driving.

For instance, 96 percent told AAA that typing text messages or e-mailing while driving was unacceptable and a threat. Still, a surprisingly high number of drivers (30 percent) said they had done so in the previous 30 days, and 8 percent said they often did it.

Additionally, 54 percent in Virginia said that talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is not acceptable behavior. (Oddly, only 27 percent viewed using hands-free cell phones as unacceptable.) Furthermore, 81 percent said that talking on a cell phone when behind the wheel is a threat.

Yet, 80 percent admitted they had talked on a cell phone (hands-free or hand-held) in the past month, and 37 percent admitted to doing it on a regular basis.

Drowsy Driving

Again, with drowsy driving, there is a gap between perception and behavior.

Ninety-six percent of Virginia drivers said they viewed it as unacceptable to drive when you are so tired that you have a hard time keeping your eyes open, and 79 percent said sleepy drivers are a threat to their safety. Regardless, 35 percent said they had driven in that condition within the past month.

The takeaway here is that drivers in Virginia clearly understand that they owe a duty to others on the road. They realize that actions such as speeding, driving while impaired, distracted driving and fatigued driving put themselves and others in danger. Still, many drivers engage in this behavior anyway.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a driver who neglected his or her duty to drive safely, a Virginia injury lawyer from Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C., can help you to hold that driver accountable and seek the compensation you deserve. Simply contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents in Virginia?

    Power trucking accidents are one of the most dangerous types of road accidents, and they differ significantly from car accidents in several ways. The most apparent difference between a truck and a car is their size and weight. Trucks are much bigger and heavier than...

    What to Do if You’re Hurt in a Virginia Multi-Vehicle Crash

    Any car accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and property damage, and multi-vehicle accidents can dramatically increase those risks.  Multiple-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles, which also complicates determining fault and...

    How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Truck Accident Case in Virginia?

    Truck accidents are some of the deadliest vehicle accidents that occur across Virginia, especially when commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck collision, you may ask, “Do I have a valid truck accident case?”...

    Is It Illegal to Tailgate Behind another Car in Virginia?

    Following too closely in Virginia is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine beginning at $81. Tailgating in Virginia is not only a moving traffic violation that could result in demerit points on your driver’s license, but is also dangerous to drivers and passengers...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald