Many Motorists Clueless About Driving-Related Subjects, Survey Shows

By Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News

In an age where a world of information is in the palms of our hands, commonly held myths about driving and vehicle ownership not only abound, they are gaining traction, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

DriversEd.com’s just-released Fake Auto News 2019: A Look at Common Driving Myths poll reveals surprising percentages of U.S. motorists are misinformed about traffic laws, vehicle operation and maintenance, and safety behind the wheel.

“Our goal was really to just dive into some of the most common myths and misconceptions about driving,” says Laura Adams, DriversEd.com’s safety and education analyst.

According to polling conducted nationwide among 1,043 respondents from a wide income range, all age 18 or older, many of us have no idea on driving fundamentals ranging from how insurance works to the rules of the road:         

Marijuana Laws: 24% are unaware that driving while impaired by marijuana is illegal in all 50 states.·

Credit Score: 20% are unaware that an unpaid ticket can harm adriver’s credit score.·        

Life Insurance: 18% are unaware that that a poor driving record can increase a driver’s life insurance rates.·         

Car Oil: 69% falsely believe that, in general, a car’s oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.·         

Engine: 67% falsely believe that in cold weather, warming up your car before driving is good for the engine.·        

Uber Drivers: 7% are unaware that Uber drivers have to pay for their own gas, insurance and maintenance.·        

 Men vs. Women Drivers: 28% believe that men are statistically safer drivers than women

“We wanted to find out what is going on with some common misconceptions while driving, and find out where people are kind of going wrong,” Adams says. “What they’re believing and what sort of attitudes are prevalent right now, and try to sort of make sure people understand that many of these are just simply not true, and that they do need to get up to speed on the current law and some of the realities of driving and how it affects your financial life.”

The survey follows DriversEd.com’s Holiday Drinking and Impaired Driver Report and Distracted Driving in America Report, both released in late 2018. 

The distracted driving study revealed that 18 percent of drivers surveyed admit to checking social media while driving, 8 percent admit to viewing Youtube videos when on the road, and 4 percent said they divide their attention between driving and watching feature-length Netflix programs. 

More shocking, Adams says, 73 percent of respondents admitted to reading texts while driving, and 59 percent admit to typing texts while driving.

“These are some incredibly dangerous behaviors that we are trying to highlight and make sure people understand how deadly they can be,” she says.

“There are a lot of fascinating myths,” Adams says of the results from her company’s newest poll. “We hope that the study brings some of the most interesting ones to light and will help people be a little bit more aware and conscious of their driving habits, and make 2019 a year to be just a little bit safer.

“If you can add one positive habit and take away maybe one negative habit, like using your phone while you’re in the car, you’re going to go a long way toward being a safer driver,” says Adams.

IMAGE: GETTY

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