AAA: DRIVING DISTRACTED IS A DANGEROUS CHOICE
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
ATLANTA, GA. (April 1, 2019 ) — Motorists today appear to be more distracted than ever behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2012-2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. AAA urges motorists to put down their phone and avoid distractions while driving, especially during April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
“Distracted driving is anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road, potentially putting motorists and others in harm’s way,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If a driver is distracted by texting or changing a radio station, they may not notice law enforcement or the tow truck driver assisting a stranded motorist on the side of the road. Not focusing on the road puts your life and others at risk.”
According to a 2019 AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey, 77 percent of Georgians are aware of the law that bans all drivers regardless of age from using a handheld phone while driving. Nevertheless, over 60 percent have reported seeing motorists text messaging or emailing while behind the wheel.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Research
- Drivers who text are up to eight times as likely to be involved in a crash. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. At 55 mph, that is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field, blind.
- Drivers talking on a cellphone are up to four times as likely to be in a crash.
- Hands-free, voice-based technology still causes distractions. Drivers can be mentally distracted for as long as 27 seconds after using voice-based technology to dial, change music or send a text message. At 25 mph, drivers travel the length of nearly three football fields during this time. Read more about how in-vehicle technology can cause distractions.
AAA is committed to helping drivers curb the urge to engage in distracting behaviors behind the wheel. Any task that requires taking your eyes or attention off the road and hands off the wheel can present a dangerous risk on the roadway.
- Recognize that driving requires your full attention.
- If you must use your phone, choose a safe time and place, keeping the conversation short.
- Ask a passenger to place a call for you and, if possible, speak in your place.
- Do not compose, send or read text messages while driving. In Georgia, texting while driving is illegal.
- Comply with the Move Over Law. When law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road, change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
- Ask passengers to help with directions or adjust dashboard controls.
- Secure loose items in the vehicle so they don’t become projectiles or distractions in a sudden stop or crash.
- Avoid intense, complicated or emotional conversations when driving.
- Pull over in a safe location to care for children.
- Stop to eat or drink, rather than trying to multi-task.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Program your GPS prior to starting your trip.
- Allow extra time for your trip so you won’t feel the need to rush.
Pledge to Drive Distraction-Free
As part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, AAA – The Auto Club Group is partnering with The Hertz Corporation on a campaign that encourages motorists to evaluate their driving habits. To submit their pledge and get more details about the campaign drivers should visit AAA.com.
AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Georgia from January 28, 2019 – February 8, 2019. A total of 409 residents completed the survey. Survey results have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Georgia.
About the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.