Despite multiple warnings and statistics sent out by traffic safety organizations every year, studies continue to show that distracted driving remains prevalent among drivers of all ages.
As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, AAA – The Auto Club Group and Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation are partnering with The Hertz Corporation on a campaign that encourages motorists to evaluate their driving habits and take a pledge to stay focused on the road, avoid cell phone use and minimize other distractions.
“Too many drivers use their phones while behind the wheel,” said Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group and executive director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation. “Our hope is that by taking the pledge to drive safely, people will be more committed to staying focused on the road, knowing how easy it is for distracted driving to become a dangerous habit.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving resulted in 3,450 deaths in 2016, with nearly one-tenth of fatal crashes reported involving distractions.
The AAA/Hertz campaign will include the online pledge at AAA.com, safety messages at participating Hertz rental car locations, social media campaigns and more. AAA is celebrating 40 years of partnering with Hertz – offering exclusive discounts and benefits to AAA members – and has been working to educate the public on the risks of distracted driving since the 1980s. AAA members who take the pledge will receive additional savings on their Hertz rental car.
“Through our partnership with Hertz, we can reach additional motorists with information to help save lives,” said Nick Jarmusz, Wisconsin director of public affairs for AAA. “Distractions come in many forms beyond the use of a cell phone, such as interacting with passengers, eating or drinking, reaching for things in the back seat and programming your GPS while driving.”
“We’re proud to partner with AAA on this important campaign,” said Bob Stuart, Hertz Executive Vice President of Global Sales. “Working together, we hope not only to educate people about the risks of distracted driving but to make our roads safer by getting motorists to avoid distractions.”
AAA recommends the following tips for avoiding distractions while driving:
1. Make a commitment to safe driving. By taking the pledge at AAA.com, drivers have the opportunity to commit to safe practices before getting on the road.
2. Minimize cell phone use. Use message-taking functions and return calls when you are stopped and off the road.
3. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s controls before you hit the road.
4. If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus on driving.
5. Prior to departure, secure mobile devices and any objects that may move and distract you while driving.
For more information and additional distracted driving resources, visit AAA.com.