Colbert_Nation saidPeople are driving longer, faster, angrier, more distracted and with less sleep than ever! My heart goes out to anyone driving a motorcycle or bike. Be careful out there because nobody else is.
Certainly commute times have increased in many urban parts of the US, something that can be shown objectively, and that may take its toll on driver attitudes & ability. But a big factor does seem to be distracted driving, too much multi-tasking going on.
When I started driving in 1966 fast-food drive-thrus were no where near as widespread as today, fairly rare to see someone eating behind the wheel, unless they made the sandwich themselves at home. And certainly not drinking a Starbucks. Cars back then didn't even provide cup holders. Naturally the hand-held cell phone revolution was nearly 30 years away, and smartphone texting didn't come along until even later.
So while the causes for poor driving may be numerous, I personally witness more cases of distraction. Most times when I have to dodge another car I'll see the driver has got a cell phone in hand, and maybe a coffee, too.
I saw my own partner scarily doing this 5 years ago, unable to refuse a call while driving, though he rarely placed one. So I got him a new car with the SYNC Bluetooth system, for hands-free calling. Works beautifully, he's no more distracted now than having a conversation with a passenger, both hands on the wheel, the phone steering wheel buttons no more involved than tuning the radio.