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AAA Reminds Holiday Shoppers of the Risks of Racing Around
HARTFORD, CT (November 22, 2018) – Now that the turkey has been carved and the pies sliced for dessert, all attention turns to Black Friday shopping and the many sweet deals available to kick off the holiday shopping season.
With more than 164 million consumers expected to shop over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday period, AAA is sending important traffic safety reminders for a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.
“There will be an extremely high volume of traffic near and around malls and shopping centers in the days immediately following Thanksgiving,” Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “It is critical that motorists and pedestrians alike limit distractions and practice patience and caution while attempting to navigate parking lots and roadways.”
Road Rage is Real
According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAAFTS) study, nearly 80 percent of American drivers have expressed significant anger and aggression behind the wheel. In addition, approximately 8 million U.S. drivers have engaged in some type of road rage, including purposefully ramming another vehicle or getting out of the car to confront another driver.
“It’s completely normal for drivers to experience anger behind the wheel, but we must not let our emotions lead to destructive choices,” Parmenter adds. “Don’t risk escalating a frustrating situation because you never know what the other driver might do. Maintain a cool head and focus on reaching your destination safely.”
AAA offers these tips to help prevent road rage:
- Don’t Offend: Never cause another driver to change their speed or direction. That means not forcing another driver to use their breaks, or turn the steering wheel in response to something you have done.
- Be Tolerant and Forgiving: Assume that it’s not personal. The other driver may just be having a really bad day.
- Do Not Respond: Avoid eye contact, don’t make gestures, maintain space around your vehicle and contact 911 if needed.
AAA is also sounding the alarm about PEDESTRIAN SAFETY this holiday season.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian strikes nationwide have been on the rise in the last two years. GHSA projects nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2017, marking the second year in a row at numbers not seen in 25 years.
Pedestrians now account for approximately 16 percent of all motor vehicle deaths, compared with 11 percent just a few years ago.
For pedestrians, AAA recommends the following:
- Look out for drivers – don’t assume they see you, assume they don’t
- Be visible – wear light-colored or reflective clothing and walk in well-lit areas
- Stay alert – avoid distractions and put down your smartphone and do not wear headphones in both ears
- Follow the rules – know your city’s traffic rules, signs, and signals
- Walk in safe places – use crosswalks and walk on sidewalks whenever possible
- Avoid drug or alcohol impairment.
For motorists, AAA recommends the following:
- Be alert. Look out for pedestrians at all times and follow posted speed limits.
- Drive with caution near crosswalks. Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and when approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and prepare to stop.
- Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and drugs impair your reaction time, reflexes and decision-making skills.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.