A basic set of questions was developed that could be used in periodic surveys that track drivers attitudes and awareness concerning impaired driving, seat belt use, and speeding issues. The objective of the survey was to learn the knowledge, views, and behaviors of drivers in these areas. This report documents the results of the 2013 survey with a comparison to the 2011 and 2012 surveys as well as the 2010 baseline survey.

The method used to conduct the survey was a telephone survey. In addition to questions for the three major highway safety areas of impaired driving, seat belt use, and speeding, an additional question was added which dealt with distracted driving. General information about the driver’s sex, age, ethnic or racial group, and education was also obtained. A total of 508 interviews were completed.

The survey shows that drivers do not self-report many violations in their driving behavior. Only a few drivers admitted to violating the law in the areas surveyed (safety belt use, speeding, and impaired driving). For example, the percentage of drivers who indicated they used their safety belt “all or most of the time” was higher than the observed usage rate of safety belts.

The survey shows a high level of media and enforcement awareness. The majority (about two-thirds) of surveyed drivers had heard about enforcement related to drinking and driving. Slightly over one-half was aware of safety belt enforcement with slightly under one-half aware of speeding enforcement. The large majority of drivers felt they were somewhat likely to receive a ticket if they violated the law in these areas (with this percentage highest for an alcohol violation).

The most common type of distraction was talking on a cell phone. Almost two-thirds reported using a cell phone while driving. Distracted driving was more common for females and for the youngest age category of 18 to 34 years of age. Even with media campaigns concerning distracted driving, there has been a general increase in distracted driving over the years of the survey.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names are for identification purposes and are not considered endorsements.

© 2013 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

Information may not be used, reproduced, or republished without our written consent.