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
According to the AAA Foundation’s recently released Traffic Safety Culture Index*:
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:
AAA’s Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving:
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
To identify a participating station, contact Amy Parmenter: 860-965-6161.
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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.
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