Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Are We Safe Drivers? Americans Say Yes

Road rage
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Given the steady flow of headlines about distracted drivingand how American drivers seem more interested in everything but staying focused behind the wheel, a new study on how we see ourselves paints an interesting picture.

Progressive Insurance commissioned Harris Interactive to poll just over a thousand Americans about their driving habits.

Here's how those drivers view themselves behind the wheel:

  • 84 percent of drivers define themselves as cautious (49%) or defensive (35%)
  • 82 percent of those surveyed said they either leave at least two car lengths between their car and the car in front of them (49 percent) or follow the 2-3 second rule (33 percent).
  • Approaching a yellow light, two-thirds of drivers (63 percent) say they slow down and prepare to come to a full stop.
  • In the past three years, 72 percent of drivers have not been in an accident or received a moving violation.

Progressive Insurance says the survey shows many Americans could and should qualify for lower insurance rates because they follow safety guidelines on a regular basis. The company has been promoting its Snapshot service, which is a device installed in your car that monitors your driving habits. The safer you drive, the less money you pay for insurance.

What I find intriguing about this survey is how Americans see themselves behind the wheel.

In my experience, most people give themselves way too much credit for consistently following the rules of the road. In fact, I've ridden with people who complain about how everyone else is aggressive on the road and then they go forward and cut people off with regularity.

So you tell me by taking our poll - or by leaving a comment; do you think most people have an accurate view of how they drive? Or are they out of touch with reality?

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