A recent AAA survey revealed that each year, most Americans spend at least 12-and-a-half days behind the steering wheel.
The study was performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, interviewing 5,700 drivers who provided information about their driving.
It also showed that men tend to drive an average of 2,300 miles over women, alongside an additional 18 percent of the time driving. People between the ages of 30 and 49 appeared to be those who drive the most. Unsurprisingly, drivers over the age of 75 hit an average of 5,840 miles per year, and teenagers drove an estimated 7,551 miles annually.
Nearly everyone drives. Why not do it safely?
Eight out of every ten households in the U.S. owns a car, whereas 28 percent of American households have more cars than registered drivers. Cars are the preferred vehicle for driving, while 20 percent of drivers choose SUVs, 17 percent drive pickups, and only 5 percent drive minivans. And although the government has slightly sponsored the use of carpool to reduce emissions and traffic congestion, 6 out of every ten driving trips are made without a passenger in the car. Drivers that live in rural areas were the ones that drive the most compared to those living in cities or towns.
The survey also revealed that in 2015 Americans drove 2.4 percent more miles than in 2014, equivalent to an average of 10.900 miles per driver. The most driving-heavy season appears to be October through December, where Americans drive an average of 31.5 miles each day; and in contrast, they prefer to stay home from January through March, driving 26.2 miles each day.
Many do not recognize the health hazards of driving as many people will incur in irresponsible behavior while behind the while. Drivers, no matter where they are, run red lights and use their cellphones while behind the wheel.
Sheila S. Sarkar, director of the California Institute of Transportation Safety in San Diego, states that nowadays the most dangerous factors while driving are distractions. Drivers tend to pay too much attention to their phones, to their children in the car, to interactions with friends, and then become over-confident and end up crashing other vehicles, putting their lives and that of others in danger.
According to research, split-second distractions kill 42,000 drivers each year, causing over $250 billion in injury costs.
Driving has also been labeled a burden on mental health, as people tend to switch behaviors erratically when behind the wheel. When people drive, they become surrounded by “people having negative emotions, and the whole system is based on whether it’s cooperative or antagonistic,” according to Leon James, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii.
Because we spend so much time behind the wheel, it is advisable to try and make the best out of that time by being a responsible driver. By paying attention to the road and to what other drivers are doing one can assure its safety alongside the security of its passengers, nearby pedestrians, and other drivers.