BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — When it comes to getting behind the wheel, Americans are more aggressive than ever, according to a new study by SAFECO Insurance. From tailgating to cutting off school buses, to texting and driving, all are habits many say they see on a daily basis.
The speed limit on Highway 280 is about 50 miles per hour but some people who spoke with WIAT 42 News say if you are only going 50, you’ll get honked at, passed up or practically rear-ended.
“A lot of these other cars are doing over 60 or 70 miles an hour and some are doing over 80 miles and hour,” says frustrated driver Albin Motowicki.
Albin is originally from New Jersey, but he’s lived and driven on Alabama roads for more than 40 years. And in those forty years he’s seen a lot of things change.
“They’re not aware. They’re not paying attention – men and women,” claims Motowicki.
A lot of it is cell phone use.
“I see people swerving all the time,” says concerned mom Ashley Eiler. “And you pull up beside them and they’ve got the light of the phone on their face or they’re looking down and its just scary to me.”
Some might say this need to be constantly connected is a byproduct of our instant gratification lifestyle. But in our conquest for information, manners usually go out the rear view mirror. Especially when it comes to running red lights, tailgating, changing lanes or just going the speed limit. Another mother says violations like that are an everyday occurrence.
“There is a lot of cutting across, not using turn signals, not being courteous,” says Natalie Williams. “Just a lot of I’ve got to get to where I need to go now and not being observant of other people.”
Motowicki says that lack of observation almost cost his wife her life after she was broadsided by an SUV. The driver was on a cell phone.
“She didn’t even see her,” he says. “She was right in front of her and she hit her. It collapsed the whole left side of the car and if that SUV had been going a little faster, she could have been killed.”
So just how bad is the problem? According to the study, people believe that 86-percent of other drivers are aggressive while only thirty percent of drivers think they themselves are a bad driver.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 NEWS