AAA Launches Campaign Equating Distracted Driving to Drunk Driving
AAA Poll: More than 90% of Connecticut drivers agree the behaviors are equally dangerous
HARTFORD, CT – April 2, 2019 – As National Distracted Driving Awareness Month begins, AAA is launching a public education campaign that effectively equates distracted driving with drunk driving, in an effort to drive home the point that both are deadly behaviors that should be socially unacceptable. So, the 'sobering' message: Don't Drive Intoxicated, Don't Drive Intexticated.
“Even though AAA research indicates most drivers believe distracted driving is a serious threat to their safety, the same research finds that many of them still engage in the behavior”, says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “The new campaign is intended to change that behavior because it’s killing people”.
Distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures 1,000 each day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is the third leading driver-related cause of crash fatalities behind speeding and driving under the influence.* And, these numbers likely underestimate the problem because most drivers do not admit to distracting cell phone use after a crash.
With that in mind, AAA is launching dramatic new Public Service Announcements that remind drivers: “Don’t Drive Intoxicated, Don’t Drive Intexticated, a sobering message from AAA".
Watch the PSAs here:
https://vimeo.com/283520390 (Mom version)
https://vimeo.com/261524390 (Dad version)
The Dept. of Transportation's Highway Safety Office, an early partner in promoting the message, has generously provided NHTSA funding to run the PSA in 18 megaplex movie theaters across the state for the month of April.
The 30-second clips are designed to help audiences understand that the consequences of using a smartphone while driving are the same as drinking and driving. The campaign targets parents/adults who would never consider drinking a beer behind the wheel, and yet, regularly engage with mobile devices that dangerously take their eyes, hands and minds off the road.
Connecticut Drivers Agree Threat of Distracted Driving is equal to Drunk Driving
A new AAA poll of Connecticut drivers indicates that more than 90% of them agree that the dangers posed by drivers distracted by their electronic devices are equal to the dangers posed by drivers who are drunk.
The new AAA poll also finds:
- Almost 70% of CT drivers say they see more drivers distracted by their electronic devices than two years ago
- Almost 90% of CT drivers say they are concerned about their safety due to drivers distracted by their electronics
- 80% of CT drivers say it is NEVER okay to email, text or use social media while driving and yet…
- Almost 40% of CT drivers admit that they have looked at their phones to read or send a text
AAA recognizes the impact that more than 50 years of public education efforts against alcohol-impaired driving have had across the country. Those campaigns helped to achieve changes to alcohol-impaired driving laws, increased enforcement, and, critically, a shift in public attitudes and behaviors toward drinking and driving. Although much more still needs to be done, anti-drunk driving campaigns and related efforts have helped cut the number of alcohol-impaired crash fatalities in half since the 1980s, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“AAA has made traffic safety a priority since 1921, working to make roads, vehicles and drivers more safe,” Parmenter says. “Through this latest initiative, AAA is committed to changing attitudes and behaviors surrounding the deadly problem of distracted driving, and we will continue this effort for years to come.”
AAA’s sobering new message makes it clear that the consequences of both alcohol-impaired driving and texting while driving are the same – deaths and injuries.
Campaign messages will appear as public service announcements, on social media (using the hashtag #DontDriveIntexticated), at special events, in the AAA member magazine, and in AAA retail store branches in Greater Hartford. The messages will also be incorporated into continuing AAA traffic safety programs offered in local communities.
In addition to the PSA, AAA will be urging all drivers – co-workers, families and friends - to ‘take the pledge’, not to drive “intexticated”.
AAA Tips to Limit 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.
For more information and tips for how motorists can avoid distracted driving, visit www.AAA.com/DontDriveDistracted
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