Highway safety survey reflects attitudes of Idaho drivers

A statewide public awareness survey of highway safety issues revealed that most Idaho drivers (84 percent) say they wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle and that more than half (59 percent) would support stronger seat belt legislation.

The University of Idaho’s Social Science Research Unit conducted the annual telephone survey in early September for ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety.

More than 560 Idaho households participated in the statewide outreach effort by answering questions about highway safety issues ranging from occupant protection to driver behaviors.

Significantly more drivers reported that they never engage in aggressive driving behavior (50 percent) compared to last year’s survey (36 percent).

When asked to describe the relationship between road rage and aggressive driving, the most common response was that road rage involves anger, maliciousness, or disregard for others and aggressive driving does not.

  • Sixty percent of drivers stated they anticipate getting a ticket for driving more than five miles per hour over the speed limit. However, their likelihood of exceeding a posted speed limit increases as that speed limit approaches 65 mph.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated the most common problem they observe with teenage drivers is talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • About two-thirds of (64 percent) said they would support legislation increasing the age at which children should be restrained in a booster seat to eight years old.
  • Almost all Idahoans surveyed (97 percent) said it is important to enforce drinking while driving laws, but only 70 percent would support roadblocks to check for drivers who had been drinking.
  • One-half agreed that risky driving behavior such as speeding, driving under the influence and not wearing a seat belt could result in additional medical costs and increased health insurance premiums for all Idahoans.
  • Nearly nine out of ten respondents said they feel safe on Idaho’s roads and highways and that laws and highway safety regulations contribute to safer highways.

Published 9-24-2010