A new report has found unsafe driving behaviors, including speeding, red-light running, drowsy driving, and driving impaired on cannabis or alcohol, rose from 2020 to 2021.

The new survey data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found the most alarming increase was among drivers admitting to getting behind the wheel after drinking enough that they felt they were over the legal limit – an increase of nearly 24 per cent.

The statistics show a reversal in the steady declines in these dangerous driving behaviors in the three years from 2018 through 2020.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, traffic fatalities have risen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5 per cent increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020.

According to NHTSA, dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, alcohol impairment, and non-use of seatbelts account for a considerable proportion of the increased fatalities.

The AAA is urging drivers to keep everyone safe on the roads and warns motorists against falling back into dangerous driving habits.

“The reversal in the frequency of US drivers engaging in risky driving behavior is disturbing,” said Dr David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“While drivers acknowledge that certain activities behind the wheel – like speeding and driving impaired, are not safe, many still engage in these activities anyway. We must be aware of the serious consequences of dangerous driving behaviors and change course.”