Auto insurers take note: Many Americans are driving while speeding, sleepy and texting. They also run red lights, even though they know better, according to a new survey.

In other words many drivers are not embracing safe behavior, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found in a recent survey of drivers’ attitudes and behaviors over the previous 30 days.

Among the survey results:

  • Approximately 44 percent said they speed on residential streets, even though 65 percent said the practice is not acceptable.
  • Close to 29 percent of drivers say they’ve driven drowsy. At the same time, 45 percent say that driving drowsy is a serious threat. A whopping 81 percent say the practice should not be done.
  • As far as texting or emailing, 27 percent of drivers admitted they did one or the other while on the road. But nearly 80 percent saw the practice as a safety threat. An even higher number – 84 percent – said texting or emailing while driving was unacceptable.
  • About 36 percent of drivers acknowledge running red lights, though 55 percent term it as a very serious threat. Interestingly, 73 percent say the action is unacceptable.

“It is very disappointing that we continue to see a prevailing attitude of ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ where the large number of motorists seem to recognize the risks of certain behaviors but do them anyway,” AAA Chicago spokesperson Beth Mosher said in prepared remarks.

The survey also flagged attitudes toward hands-free phone use and speech-based in-vehicle systems, which some say can cause cognitive distraction while driving.

Two out of three respondents said that using hands-free phones is acceptable. Almost have of drivers – about 46 percent – said that speech-based in-vehicle systems are not distracting. But the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety noted that research increasingly shows that both technologies can lead to cognitive distraction and heighten the risk of accidents.

Source; the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety