AAA Releases Emotional PSA For Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Each day, 10 people are killed in distracted driving crashes – contributing to the 37,000 people killed in crashes on U.S. roadways during 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In North Carolina there were 32 fatalities due to distracted driving in 2017, according to the NCDOT and in South Carolina there were 60, according to the SCDPS. AAA Carolinas believes these numbers are actually a lot higher as many drivers do not readily admit to distracted driving, such as texting, at the time of the crash.
To remind motorists to stay safe on the road during National Distracted Driving Awareness month in April and all year long, AAA Carolinas created a PSA about a member of our Carolina community who lost her son to distracted driving.
Contrary to what some drivers may think, hands-free, handheld and in-vehicle technologies are not distraction-free, even if a driver’s eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. The latest AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research found that:
- Drivers who text when behind the wheel more than double their odds of being involved in a crash;
- Drivers who talk on a cell phone (either hands-free or handheld) when behind the wheel may elevate their odds of being involved in a crash;
- Drivers who use in-vehicle technologies, like voice-based and touch screen features, can be distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message.
- Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research.
Driving is a complex task that requires a driver’s full attention. AAA cautions drivers to put down their phones and don’t use hands-free, handheld or in-vehicle technologies while driving. AAA offers these tips to stay safe while on the road:
- Put down your phone and other electronic gadgets.
- Never use text-messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device, including those built into the vehicle.
- Designate a passenger to answer in-coming calls, send or respond to text messages and to assist with navigation when the vehicle is in motion. Only use these technologies for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving related purposes.
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