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AAA report: 8 bad driving habits up in Virginia, across country

The results from a AAA report show a double-digit slide in the wrong direction.

NORFOLK, Va. — A new report from AAA shows unsafe driving behaviors are on the rise across the state and the country.

There are eight categories listed in the report, and they range from distracted driving to fatal accidents. 

Ryan Adcock with AAA Hampton Roads said in every section there is a pronounced increase.

"For drunk driving alone, there's almost a 24% increase in drivers admitting to driving even though they think they were over the legal limit," Adcock said.

According to AAA, these numbers steadily decreased before the pandemic. However, that changed after 2020, and bad behaviors from drivers started to increase in every category.

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This worsening behavior can be seen in double-digit percentages for multiple categories like consuming cannabis before driving, driving 15 mph over the speed limit, and driving through red lights.

"All of this is bad, but some are even more concerning than others," Adcock said.

In Virginia, the numbers did not improve. Approximately 968 people died in traffic accidents in 2021, this is a 14% increase from 2020.

Some Virginia drivers in Norfolk said they are not surprised by the negative assessment.

"People can't drive, for real... I drive better than most people, and it's bad out there," Peddie Thompson said.

"I've seen a lot of people not put their turn signals on. The interstate is 55, but when I drive to work in the morning, people are going at least 70 or 80," Amena Anderson said.

In every category, Adcock with AAA said drivers need to slow down and take a closer look at their surroundings. He is urging drivers to re-evaluate themselves before getting back on the roads. 

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