AAA Poll Reveals Motorists’ Top Transportation Concerns

Auto club urges policymakers to take action

Phoenix. April 25, 2013. According to a recent AAA public opinion poll, the majority of U.S. drivers believe the federal government should invest more money for transportation and road safety. However, they also oppose toll roads and increased gas taxes in order to do so.

As an advocacy organization, AAA frequently conducts surveys to better understand the public’s transportation needs and priorities. The survey, known as Mood on the Road (MOTR), asked ten questions regarding a range of topics such as motorist concerns, highway funding preferences and the role of the federal government in transportation. The most recent MOTR report reveals that the majority of Americans – 62 percent – recognize the need for increased transportation funding.

The club’s annual Public Affairs survey, conducted late last year, also revealed transportation concerns on a local level. AAA Arizona members ranked road maintenance projects that improve safety through better design and engineering as a top concern. However, more than half of members indicated that they oppose funding increases subsidized by the implementation of toll roads, increased gas tax or charging drivers a fee based on number of miles driven.

“From potholes to vehicle safety, concerns voiced by motorists differ greatly from those expressed by policymakers,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “Why are policymakers failing to connect with constituents on issues that matter most?”                                                                       

AAA’s most recent public opinion poll uncovered motorists’ top transportation concerns and priorities on a national level:

  • 86 percent – or almost nine in 10 motorists – report having at least one concern about transportation and driving.  
    • AAA position: As an advocate for the motoring public, AAA works closely with policymakers to lobby for safer roads. In recent years, Arizona’s road safety has been improved by the expansion of our state’s graduated driver’s license, Move Over and child passenger safety laws.

       

  • 68 percent of motorists believe the federal government should make reducing congestion a top transportation priority.
    • AAA position: Traffic jams and crowded roads waste time, fuel and about $97.7 billion – or nearly $600 per motorist – annually and are a significant frustration for many drivers, according to AAA’s 2011 Crashes vs. Congestion report. AAA believes transportation funding should support increased capacity and expanded roadways.
  • 83 percent of motorists remain concerned about wasteful government spending on transportation.
    • AAA position: As Congress debates transportation funding, AAA continues to push for the reduction of wasteful spending. Through its Making America Stronger program, the club works to elevate the importance of a strong transportation network urges Congress and the Administration to find a long-term transportation investment solution. 

In addition to these issues, drivers also expressed concerns over several other topics: 34 percent about the reliability and safety of their car, 19 percent about the direct financial cost of driving, 15 percent about the behavior of other drivers, 15 percent about safety/road accidents and 15 percent about gas mileage/fuel efficiency of their vehicle..

“AAA is dedicated to examining all funding options and helping to educate policymakers the concerns of road users,” Gorman said. “We will use these results to shape our advocacy efforts as well as outreach to policymakers to reinforce the needs and priorities of the motoring public.”

AAA is an advocate for the safety and security of the motoring public.

This report presents the findings of an omnibus telephone survey consisting of 1,008 adults living in the continental United States. The study has a 95 percent margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. 

Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.