Texting while driving is the biggest cause of crashes according to American drivers.
A study by the University of Iowa Transportation and Vehicle Safety Research Division found that 80% of American drivers thought texting while driving was nost often the biggest cause of crashes followed by drink-driving at 79% and making or answering calls at 74%.
In addition, the study found that 59.3% of US motorists thought the driver was the most important component of safe driving compared with 10.9% who thought the vehicle was the most important factor all of the time.
In what it called a one-of-its-kind study, the university also found that
a majority of drivers expressed uncertainty about how many potentially life-saving vehicle safety technologies work. The survey also showed that 40% of drivers report that their vehicles have acted or behaved in unexpected ways.
The study, examined drivers' knowledge of vehicle safety systems, as well as their understanding and use of defensive driving techniques and found that a majority of respondents had heard of, been exposed to, or interacted with at least one of the nine vehicle safety features studied, but expressed uncertainty about all of the technologies.
Consumers reported they least understood adaptive cruise control (65%) and lane departure warning systems (36%). They were uncertain about features that have been standard in American cars for years - such as anti-lock braking systems and tire pressure-monitoring systems, according to the survey.
"As technologies like rear-view cameras and lane departure warning systems advance and become more prevalent in the cars we're driving there is a tremendous need to improve consumer understanding of these critical safety features," said Daniel McGehee, director of the division at the UI Public Policy Centre.
"The level of confusion about features that have been standard in American cars for quite awhile was really surprising," McGehee added noting that tire pressure monitoring and anti-lock braking systems have been in vehicles for some time. "The little details about how some of these systems work are really important when we're talking about safety. We need to do a better job of making sure consumers are comfortable with them."