August 17, 2015|
AAA Survey Confirms Iowans Perception of Impairment Matches Up with Reality
As many Iowans try to squeeze in one last road trip before schools restart, an AAA Consumer PulseTM survey conducted of Iowa residents within the last month showed their perceptions of increased drug use by roadway users matches up with a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dated February 2015 of actual drug use by roadway users. The NHTSA report shows impairment by alcohol in total numbers is declining at the same time impairment by illegal and legal drugs in total numbers is increasing.
Impairment as a percent remains a contributing factor in approximately 33% of all fatal crashes, but an increasing number of those crashes involve illegal and legal drugs. The NHTSA report showed a “large decrease in the percentage of drivers who were alcohol positive”, “a large increase in the prevalence of illegal drugs”, and “a small increase in drug-positive drivers using medications”. The entire report can be read here.
Iowans perceptions line up with those facts. According to the AAA Consumer PulseTM survey, 41% of Iowans believe driving under the influence of illegal drugs happens more often than five years ago, 40% of Iowans believe driving under the influence of legal drugs happens more often than five years ago, and 32% of Iowans believe driving under the influence of alcohol happens more often than five years ago.
“Iowans are wise to perceive the changes in the types of impairment they may be encountering on the roadways, not just over weekends or holidays, but every day of the week just as the NHTSA study tells us,” stated Gail Weinholzer, Director of Public Affairs, AAA -The Auto Club Group. “Just as our society has worked diligently to reduce alcohol impaired driving, we now clearly need to increase our efforts in regards to drug impaired driving.”
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among Iowa residents from July 13, 2015 to August 1, 2015. A total of 400 residents completed the survey. The survey has a margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points. Overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Iowa.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 55 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.
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