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Leslie Gamble
Manager, Public & Government Affairs
O: (405) 753-8040
C: (405) 488-7611

Mark Madeja
Senior Specialist, Public & Government Affairs
O: (918) 748-1074
C: (918) 935-9318

December 24, 2019 - As millions of travelers prepare to celebrate the year-end holiday season, AAA Oklahoma wants to make sure that drivers are focused on safe driving to stay at the top of Santa’s “nice” list. It’s the best way to ensure an enjoyable and trouble-free journey to the homes of those you love the most. 

“No matter how you are traveling over the next few days, it is important to remember safety first and be prepared in the event of a vehicle breakdown,” Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma spokeswoman.

In the spirit of the season, AAA is sharing an important checklist for those traveling out of town or around town over the holidays:

  1. Buckle Up, Every Trip, Every Time – The use of a seatbelt is the most important safety precaution that can be taken while traveling. No matter how busy things get, all in vehicles should be safely secured. Ensure that the lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are better able to withstand crash forces than other parts of the body.
  2. Don’t Drive IntexticatedDistracted driving kills an average of nine people and injuries 1,000 each day according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, it is the third leading driver-related cause of crash fatalities behind speeding and driving under the influence. These numbers likely underestimate the problem because most drivers do not admit to distracting cell phone use after a crash. AAA encourages all drivers to put any and all mobile devices away while behind the wheel of a car. If using a navigation system, program the destination before driving or ask a passenger to help with navigation.
  3. Slow Down, Move Over – The Slow Down, Move Over law, recently strengthened in Oklahoma requires motorists to move over for ALL flashing hazard lights. It is designed to save the lives of our police officers, emergency response workers and tow truck operators by providing an extra barrier of safety for them as they work along the side of the road. An average of 23 tow operators are killed at the roadside every year, with one service provider on average being killed on the job at the roadside every other week. AAA urges drivers to slow down and move over or change lanes, if possible, to give safe clearance to those working roadside. 
  4. Don’t Drive Intoxicated – Don’t make the holiday season deadly on our roadways by driving while impaired. December has been designated National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, to help bring attention to the dangers of not only drunk driving but drugged driving as well, which has become a growing risk on our nation’s roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk-driving related deaths have fallen, but they still total more than 10,000 lives per year. Drivers need to remember that alcohol and illicit drugs as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications can impair their ability to drive safely. Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins. Never get behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink. Remember: If you Feel Different, You Drive Different.
  5. Check Your AAA Membership: When is the best time to check to see if you have roadside assistance service? Before you need help! Make sure your membership is up to date and the selected service level matches your lifestyle needs. AAA has varying levels of membership to fit every budget and lifestyle. Members and non-members can take advantage of special new, renewal and gift membership offers with the code SAFETY until December 31, 2019.

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