AAA 'Pumps' Up Distraction Messaging
(Right Where Motorists Will See It)
Campaign Aims to Raise Awareness during Busy Summer Driving Season
During this summer of record-breaking road travel, AAA is ‘pumping’ up its ‘Don’t Drive ‘Intexticated’ distracted driving campaign by targeting motorists where they are most likely to see it – at gas stations.
“Where better to remind drivers to put down their phones than when they are filling up?” asks Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “Distracted driving is such a widespread, dangerous and potentially deadly behavior that AAA must be innovative in its efforts to raise awareness and effect change”.
Responding to a recent AAA survey, almost 70% of Connecticut drivers say they notice more drivers distracted by electronic devices than just two years ago.
AAA’s “Don’t Drive Intoxicated, Don’t Drive Intexticated” campaign, first introduced here in Connecticut in April, effectively compares texting and driving with drinking and driving - as both are dangerous behaviors that too often result in injury or death. The new gas station signage is part of AAA’s multi-year effort to reverse this disturbing trend.
The ‘pumped up’ messaging at select gas stations will be directly on the pump handle and/or sitting atop the pumps themselves (pictured).
Kelly Flynn, whose husband was killed by a distracted driver, is applauding AAA’s effort.
“This message must be seen and it must be heard,” Flynn says. “A distracted driver left me heartbroken every day and, without greater awareness, this widespread behavior will surely leave others heartbroken as well”.
“We want these signs to remind drivers that using a phone while driving can have the same consequences as drinking and driving," Parmenter says. "AAA is committed to making distracted driving as socially unacceptable as drunk driving".
Distracted Driving Statistics
- 9 people each day are killed in the U.S. and 1,000 are injured in crashes where distracted driving occurred, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
According to the AAA Foundation’s recently released Traffic Safety Culture Index*:
- Nearly 97% of motorists believe mobile device use while driving is an extremely or very dangerous behavior, about the same number that view driving while intoxicated to be extremely or very dangerous.
- And yet, more than 40% of the same respondents admit they had read texts or emails on their phone at least once in the past 30 days.
- And more than 30% admit they had typed on their devices while driving
AAA Foundation research has also identified distracted driving as one of the top contributors to teen-driver related fatal crashes during the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ – the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when these crashes typically spike because there are more teen drivers behind the wheel.
In a recent AAA survey of Connecticut drivers:
- Almost 70% says they notice more drivers distracted by electronics than two years ago
- Almost 90% say they are concerned about their safety on the road because of distracted drivers
- And yet, almost 40% admit to looking at their phones to read or send a text when behind the wheel
AAA’s Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving:
- Put it away. Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
- Know where you’re going. If using a navigation system, program the destination before driving.
- Pull over. If you have to call or text while on the road, pull off the road safely and stop first.
- Ask passengers for help. If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
- Be a good passenger. Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
- Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.
- Everyone should prevent being intexticated. Just as drivers need to pay attention, so do pedestrians and bicyclists. Never call, text or play games while walking or cycling
The public is invited to take the Don’t Drive Intexticated pledge. Visit www.aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted to join this lifesaving effort.
*Survey results were released June 19, 2019, as part of the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, which identifies attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety. The survey data are from a sample of 2,582 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported driving in the past 30 days. www.AAAFoundation.org
Watch the AAA 'DontDriveIntexticated' PSAs: https://vimeo.com/261524390 (Dad version); https://vimeo.com/283520390 (Mom version)
B-roll: Teens Learning to Drive Distracted Teen Drivers
To identify a participating station, contact Amy Parmenter: 860-965-6161.
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