In this landmark study of distracted driving, the AAA Foundation challenges the notion that drivers are safe and attentive as long as their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. Using cutting-edge methods for measuring brain activity and assessing indicators of driving performance, this research examines the mind of the driver, and highlights the mental distractions caused by a variety of tasks that may be performed behind the wheel.
Distracted driving remains a significant and high-profile traffic safety concern, with cell phone use and text messaging among its most visible manifestations. This report presents the latest data on distracted driving from the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index, and examines select findings of self-reported behaviors and attitudes in the Index concluding that distracted driving may simply be one manifestation of risk-prone driving more broadly.
For the fifth consecutive year the Foundation has conducted a national survey of driver attitudes and behaviors. As in previous years, the Index highlights aspects of the current traffic safety culture that might be characterized as a culture of indifference, where drivers effectively say "do as I say, not as I do."
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducts research with a focus toward creating a social climate where traffic safety is highly valued and rigorously pursed. The 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index found that finds that 96% of drivers consider it to be unacceptable for someone to drive when they are so sleepy that they have a hard time keeping their eyes open.