A healthy majority of Texans have read, heard or seen messages about seat belt enforcement, and the messages appear to be getting through, as an even greater percentage report that they always or nearly always wear a seat belt.
These findings and others come from a recent survey, conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), that measured traffic safety awareness in Texas.
When the 2012 results were compared to the 2011 results, researchers found:
- In 2012, more people had read, seen or heard something about seat belt enforcement in the last 60 days.
- A higher number reported drinking and driving more than 10 times within two hours of drinking.
- There was a significant increase in the percentage of people who have read, seen or heard something about speed enforcement by police.
- Drivers who admitted to exceeding the speed limit by more than 5 mph on 70 mph roadways increased.
- A larger percentage (about 7 percent more) of Texans are aware of the ban on cell phone use in school zones.
- More people are aware that seat belt requirements pertain to every occupant.
- There was an increase in the number of people who knew that the blood alcohol content limit in Texas is .08.
Other findings include:
- Most Texas drivers believe it is very likely that impaired drivers will be arrested.
- Fifty-five percent of Texans are in favor of sobriety checkpoints.
- Impaired drivers rely on those who have not been drinking for transportation home – more so than public transportation and other means.
- Almost 7 percent of drivers reported regularly texting and driving in the past 30 days.
- Impaired driving is the behavior viewed as the most serious threat to personal safety.
“This survey is a way to track performance measures for the state, to see what progress is being made, and to measure how well messages are being seen and heard,” said TTI Senior Research Scientist Katie Womack. “Also, it helps us see how driving behaviors are changing over time.”
To read the full study, go to http://cts.tti.tamu.edu/programs/behavioral-research/.