Dangerous driving behaviors have seen a year-on-year increase in the United States, according to the results of a new survey.

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) USA, in partnership with TIRF in Canada, has released: ‘Road Safety Monitor 2021: Alcohol impaired Driving and Covid-19 In the United States’.

The seventh annual poll found the COVID-19 pandemic effects on drinking and driving to be “alarming”.

“In general, all dangerous driving behaviors were reported more often in 2021 compared to 2020,” said Carl Wicklund, TIRF USA senior research advisor.

“While most drivers took extra care and were less likely to engage in certain risky driving behaviors during the pandemic, a smaller but significant proportion of drivers indicated they were more likely to do so.

“This helps explain the preliminary data demonstrating increases in speeding, impaired driving, and more severe crashes as a result of the pandemic.”

The online survey was completed in September 2021 by almost 1,500 US drivers aged 21 years or older.

More US drivers reported often driving when they thought they were over the legal limit in 2021 than in 2019.

Results of the poll comparing behavior during the pandemic to behavior before the pandemic also revealed:

  • 5 percent of drivers indicated they were more likely to drive within two hours of consuming alcohol
  • 7 percent said they were more likely to excessively speed during the pandemic
  • more than 8 percent were more likely to drive distracted, drive within two hours of using drugs, and not wear a seat belt.