AAA Offers Advice to Help Families Travel Safely
SALT LAKE CITY, April 26, 2017 – AAA supports the National Safety Council’s declaration of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month and as the month comes to a close, AAA would like to offer some tips for limiting distractions behind the wheel.
According to the Utah Highway Safety Office’s “Crash Summary, 2015” cell phones, passengers, radio and electronic devices were major causes of distractions in crashes. Looking at each, there may be some simple ways to help decrease their impact.
Cell Phones – We are conditioned to respond to our phones and interrupt our activities to answer. It isn’t surprising that the same behavior persists as we drive. If we simply mute our phones as we start the vehicle, the urgency to answer a call or a text would not exist. And, the great thing about cell phones is that we have a record of the calls and text messages so we really don’t miss a thing.
Passengers – This can be tricky. It is difficult to control friends and family, especially when they are excited or have great stories to tell. But, this may be a two birds/one stone situation with passengers and electronic distractions. Put your passengers in charge of the radio, CD’s and any other electronic aids such as SIRI, YELP and driving directions. That way they are occupied and you can hear the great stories after the drive when you can appreciate all the details.
Electronic Devices – If you don’t have passengers to control these devices, it might be helpful to set the entertainment before starting out. If you are using electronic devices for driving directions or YELP, bring up the information and familiarize yourself prior to driving. If you need to check the instructions, simply pull over to the side of the road for a quick review.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. “Using a bit of creativity and a willingness to change habits can create a safer environment for everyone on the road.”