If you are a woman, are from Johnson County, or have
no children under 18 at home, chances are you feel pretty good about your driving
But if you are age 26 to 35, are a man, or are from
Arkansas City or Topeka, you are more likely to admit you could do a better
job when you get behind the wheel.
These were just a few of the sometimes-surprising
driver attitudes revealed by a recent Kansas Department of Transportation
survey. The research was conducted to help craft a campaign to improve safety
on Kansas roads. KDOT officials used the survey information to enhance the
effectiveness of their new "Kansas Driving: Safe. Not Sorry.
"Safe/Not Sorry" is a
public education program aimed at reducing the number of crashes on Kansas
roadways by encouraging drivers to demonstrate common sense and courtesy,
be mindful of road conditions and obey traffic laws. The budget for this campaign
comes from federal funds resulting from the Kansas Legislature's approval
of a drunk-driving standard of .08 percent blood-alcohol content.
The telephone survey of 401 licensed Kansas drivers
revealed significant differences in driver attitudes depending on factors
such as gender, age and geography. It also found people are much more willing
to point the finger at others for unsafe driving, than to admit they themselves
could be part of the problem.
At the same time, the study showed areas of common
ground when it comes to how Kansans view driving safety. In this age of mobile
phones, drive-through restaurants, hand-held computers and generally hectic
lifestyles, motorists clearly agree inattentive driving is a major problem.
Other key safety issues for survey respondents are speeding and lack of common
Rosalie Thornburgh, chief of KDOT's Bureau of
Traffic Safety, said the statewide survey affirmed that Kansans understand
the importance of demonstrating common sense and courtesy when driving. She
said the goal of the
"Safe. Not Sorry." campaign will be to
remind the public to consistently observe safe driving practices.
"The survey helped determine the types of marketing
concepts and messages most likely to cause people to voluntarily approach
their driving with safety in mind," Thornburgh said. "KDOT's
goal is for drivers to assume a personal responsibility to practice safe driving
Other findings of the "Safe. Not Sorry."
Drivers in Arkansas City, Salina, Manhattan
and Hays generally felt better about the overall quality of driving in
the state than did drivers in other areas. Men and drivers age 18 to 25
shared this positive outlook.
Drivers in Johnson County, Lyons, Topeka, and
Fort Scott generally felt worse about the overall quality of driving in
the state than did drivers in other areas. Women and drivers with no children
under 18 at home shared this view.
Drivers in Johnson County, Salina and Fort Scott
rated their own driving habits more highly than other drivers rated theirs.
Arkansas City, Lyons and Topeka drivers felt
worse about their driving habits than survey respondents as a whole.
Johnson County drivers rated themselves most
highly on using common sense while driving.
Wichita drivers said they were best at devoting
full attention to driving.
Drivers in Salina, Lyons and Hays, as well as
drivers age 66 and older, said they were best at staying within the speed
Wichita residents and drivers age 18 to 25 admitted
to straying above speed limits, while Lyons drivers said they could improve
on devoting full attention to driving.
Drivers in Arkansas City and Topeka expressed
the least amount of confidence in their ability to respond to changing
Fort Scott drivers felt a lack of courtesy on
Kansas roads was a concern.
Drivers age 66 and older are most concerned
A majority of drivers said messages urging motorists
to use good sense and courtesy would be the most effective in improving
safety on Kansas roadways