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How Do Americans Rate Their Own Driving Habits?

Surprisingly enough, most Americans are pretty impressed with their own driving habits. Even the unsafe drivers. On August 29, 2012, USA Today reported on a study by Penn Schoen Berland and paid for by Ford Motor Company which conducted a survey of just over 2,500 American drivers. The survey asked drivers how they would assess their own driving habits. The results are surprising.

Interestingly, most Americans surveyed admitted to engaging in bad habits while at the wheel of their car. Ironically, a whopping 99 percent of those same Americans consider themselves perfectly safe drivers.

This is especially surprisingly when looking at the percentage of those surveyed who have been involved (or nearly been involved) in car accidents.

  • 57 percent have been involved in a car accident or a near-accident with a vehicle moving in his or her blind spot.

  • 48 percent have hit or nearly hit an object while backing out of a parking spot, parking lot, or driveway.

  • 38 percent refuse to parallel park due to lack of confidence.

Keeping these numbers in mind, 99 percent still consider themselves safe drivers. What’s more, the survey went deeper, asking drivers about their habits while driving.

  • 76 percent admitted to drinking beverages and eating food while driving.

  • 55 percent admitted that they speed regularly.

  • 53 percent admitted to talking on a cell phone or texting while driving.

  • 37 percent admitted to driving when they are perhaps too tired to drive.

  • 25 percent admitted to answering their cell phone or scrolling through their contact list while driving.

Each of these admissions by surveyed drivers is an unsafe act which could put them and others in danger on the road. Three of the above bullet points amounts to distracted driving, which is a very serious, very dangerous problem in the US today. Furthermore, to drive while drowsy is a considerably unsafe act, as it puts a driver at risk for falling asleep at the wheel. In such a scenario, anything can go wrong.

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