Is reckless driving still on the rise?

It is no secret that the global pandemic led to many changes across the globe. As many news sources reported and even previous blog posts of ours covered, it also resulted in changes on the road – particularly in drivers’ behaviors.

There were many reports of increases in reckless driving in the last few years and that rate does not seem to be decreasing.

Risky actions still contributing to crashes

Fatal crashes are increasing across the nation. This is partly due to the rise of drivers engaging in risky behaviors behind the wheel. According to a 2020 survey by AAA, drivers who were on the road during the pandemic admitted to:

  • Speeding
  • Texting while driving
  • Running red lights
  • Not wearing seat belts
  • Driving under the influence

With fewer drivers overall, the ones who were on the road during that time felt more comfortable taking risks. However, studies show that traffic levels are roughly back to pre-pandemic levels. Yet NBC News reports that traffic deaths are still on the rise.

If there are more vehicles on the roads, why are so many drivers still taking risks behind the wheel?

Bad habits can be hard to break

Unfortunately, many people may have developed bad habits of taking risks behind the wheel – and negative habits can be incredibly hard to break.

For example, say someone reads and replies to a text while driving once, and nothing bad happens. So, they do it again, and nothing bad happens. This is pure luck, but it can result in a bad habit of individuals thinking they can safely text and drive, even if that is untrue. The same can go for many other bad habits behind the wheel.

The habits we form in our daily lives directly affect our brains and responses. The science behind how our brains work in forming and breaking habits is extensive. Regardless of the habit, it takes time and work to break it. This is one of the reasons that risky driving from the pandemic is still present and increasing on the roads.

Driving safe is an active decision

Driving safely and defensively is not only a learned behavior. It is also an active decision that you make every time you get behind the wheel. Breaking habits is another action that requires active focus. So, Tennessee drivers should ensure they are extra mindful whenever they take to the road.

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