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Disconnect Between What Laws Drivers Claim To Support and What They Actually Follow: AMA Survey

There is a double standard when it comes to what laws drivers support and what laws drivers follow according to results from a survey done by the AMA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“There were two real notable findings from the survey itself. One is that Albertan’s perception of their safety on Alberta’s roads and highways has reduced within the past three years and the second is, is that we noticed this pattern of a disconnect between what we think is acceptable behaviours behind the wheel versus what we actually admit to doing ourselves,” says Jeff Kasbrick, vice-president of government and stakeholder relations for the Alberta Motor Association.

The survey shows 82% of Albertans think speeding is “never acceptable” on residential roads, however 52% admit to doing it. On highways, 18% say speeding is never acceptable, but 91% say they do it. In school zones, 95%  say speeding is never acceptable, while 29% admit to doing it.

Kasbrick adds, “a likely reason as to why we’re seeing this disconnect is because we often perceive our driving skill as being better or more superior to others on the road and in fact the study confirmed that. So the problem becomes this, if we’re all thinking we’re a better driver than the next person that logic begins to fall apart.”

When it comes to people drinking and driving, the survey says nearly half of Albertans see the issue as only a slight threat or not a threat at all to their personal safety. With people using marijuana before driving, the survey says more than half of Albertans are not concerned.

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“Three issues on the road really stood out from the study itself. Road rage is one area where Albertans see it getting worse over the past three years, along with aggressive driving behaviours such as honking or following too closely. By and large the significant takeaway, with 72% of respondents thinking the behaviour has gotten worse on the roads is distracted driving.”

According to the survey compared to three years ago, 49% of Albertans believe road rage incidents are worse today; 57% believe aggressive driving is worse; and 72% believe distracted driving is worse. Although the survey says 65% of Albertans rate themselves as more careful than other drivers and 33% rate themselves as similarly careful.

The telephone survey was conducted April 18-May 16 with a random sample of 1,800 adult Albertans. The poll is considered accurate within 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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