NC aggressive driving costs at the pump and in lives

North Carolina has some pretty bad drivers, according to a new study which gives the state the distinction of being in the top five for worst when it comes to aggressive driving.

Here’s how the rankings came out:

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Georgia
  4. Texas
  5. North Carolina
  6. New Jersey
  7. Delaware
  8. Florida
  9. Kentucky
  10. Arizona

Turns out that aggressive driving isn’t just a safety hazard. It hurts the wallet, too, because it wastes gas.

Fuel prices have reached their highest levels since 2015. The U.S. Energy Department said aggressive driving is the quickest way to waste gas and lower fuel mileage by up to 40 percent.

According to GasBuddy, at today’s prices, that will cost almost $500 more a year in fuel costs.

“Aggressive driving is an issue across the state,” said Sgt. Mike Baker of the N.C. Highway Patrol. “It’s one of the things we’ve seen an uptick in in the last couple of years.”

The GasBuddy study said there’s an aggressive-driving incident in North Carolina every eight and a half minutes.

That’s followed closely by Texas, Georgia, and Connecticut. Those states also have aggressive-driving incidents about every eight minutes. California tops the nation with an incident every six and a half minutes.

GasBuddy came up with these figures by using its TRIP app to examine tens of millions of trips in the 50 states between Dec. 2017 and March 2018.

The study said that the most common gas-guzzling, aggressive habits are:

  • Hard braking, which makes up for 67 percent of all inefficient driving techniques
  • Speeding (25 percent)
  • Rapid acceleration (8 percent)

In addition to fuel waste, there’s a human cost to aggressive driving.

“It’s beyond fuel costs. It’s beyond fines. It’s beyond punishment,” Baker said. “You are putting yourself and other motorists in danger.”

The study found motorists are more inclined to drive aggressively in densely populated cities or places where there were high levels of congestion — two factors seen in parts of North Carolina that are growing rapidly.

“With gas prices expected to continue to rise well into the summer months, simply being aware of how you drive can dramatically lower fuel costs, prevent damage to your vehicle, and make the roads safer for everyone,” said GasBuddy chief petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

Categories: NC, News

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