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2019 ‘Behind-the-Wheel Confessions’ Report Reveals Startling Statistics


Study: 71% of Drivers Admit to Drowsy Driving,

24% Admit to Drunk Driving and 40% Admit to Road Rage

From DriversEd.com

In recognition of National Safety Month, which takes place in June, DriversEd.com, the leading online driving school, today released the survey results from its 2019 Behind-the-Wheel Confessions Report. The study reveals striking statistics on an array of dangerous behind-the-wheel behaviors that U.S. drivers admit to—from distracted driving, drunk driving and drowsy driving to speeding, running through red lights and not stopping at stop signs.

“The good news is that a fairly high percentage, 91%, of Americans say they always wear a seatbelt. The bad news: just about all of the other data we found,” said Laura Adams, safety and education analyst at DriversEd.com. “When it comes to driving safety, the country and its roadways are in a state of perennial crisis—and the situation is getting worse, largely thanks to phones, texting, and social media.”

“One of the most alarming figures we found is that one in every five U.S. drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel,” said Adams. “The solution in most cases is simply getting proper sleep and always being aware of the medications you’re taking, how they interact and their potential side effects.”

Among the hazardous behaviors that U.S. drivers confessed to:

  • Drowsy Driving: 71% admit they have driven while drowsy, while 20% admit they have fallen asleep.
  • Speeding: 89% admit they have driven above the speed limit.
  • Road Rage: 40% admit they have had road rage.
  • Stop Signs: 58% admit they have gone through a stop sign without entirely stopping.
  • Red Lights: 47% admit they have run a red light.
  • Changing Tires: 62% admit they have waited longer than they should have to change their tires.
  • Distracted Driving: 31% admit they check their phone more often than they should while driving.
  • Drunk Driving: 24% admit they have driven while drunk.

In addition, on the topic of driving safety, the study found:

  • Driver vs. Passenger: 78% of Americans say they feel safer as a driver, while 22% say they feel safer as a passenger.
  • Self-Driving Cars vs. Human-Operated Cars: 57% of Americans say that, in ten years, human-operated cars will be safer, while 43% say self-driving cars.
  • Drunk Driving vs. Marijuana Driving: 36% of Americans say driving while drunk is more dangerous, while 3% say driving while high from marijuana and 61% say both are equally dangerous.

“For each and every one of these hazardous behind-the-wheel behaviors, there are solutions—from checking your eyesight and hearing to assigning a designated driver to set calendar reminders to inspect your tires to meditating before driving to simply exercising self-discipline,” added Adams.

The full Behind-the-Wheel Confessions report—which includes additional data, insights and analysis—is available at driversed.com/trending/study-drivers-behind-wheel-confessions-reveal-dangerous-habits.

This report is a follow-up to DriversEd.com’s April-released Cannabis and Cars Report, which found that 21% of drivers admit to driving while high from marijuana, and March-released Distracted Driving and Social Media Report, which found that 55% of drivers admit to checking social media while driving.


The 2019 Behind-the-Wheel Confessions survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey. One thousand and forty-seven participants were polled, spanning across the United States, with the U.S. driving population represented by the 957 respondents who, before completing the survey, answered that they have a driver’s license. The demographics of those polled represented a broad range of household income, geographic location, age, and gender.

About DriversEd.com

DriversEd.com is the #1 online driving school—with courses offered directly, through partners and through some of the largest schools in the country. As the industry leader in teaching defensive driving, DriversEd.com is the premier destination for online driver education, and the go-to resource for driving safety-related tips, news and strategies. The site offers comprehensive solutions, including online driver’s education, in-car driving lessons, traffic school, insurance, telematics and more. DriversEd.com’s tools are geared towards developing safe, confident drivers well-prepared for a lifetime of safe driving. Visit the DriversEd.com website, and connect with DriversEd.com on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



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