Do as we say, and not as we do. -Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313-1375
Forbes ran an informative article this week on The Most Dangerous Times to Drive that puts a fine point on one dimension of the self-perception paradox (how we see ourselves versus how we actually are). Consistently, and across many areas of life, we hold our behavior in far higher regard than our actions demonstrate is deserved, and driving is a fantastic example. Unfortunately, the end result of this particular example can be fatal (hence the article’s title). I’ve pulled out a few sample facts below.
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, 95% of all traffic accidents are caused by human error; but when surveyed, 75% of drivers say they are more careful than everyone else on the road
According to the Automobile Association of America, 82% of drivers say that driving while distracted is a serious problem; but more than half say they talk on a cell phone while driving, and 14% admit to reading and sending text messages while driving
75% of drivers say that speeding is a serious problem; but 20% say that they drive more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit on the highway, and 14% say they occasionally do so on neighborhood streets
And the most dangerous time of the year to drive? It’s not winter. It’s August, on a Saturday.