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Put the Brakes on Distracted Driving

Texting while driving
John Galvin

Summer is finally here in the Northeast, and many of us will be jumping in the car and taking road trips near and far. During this time, you’re bound to experience more drivers on the road than any other time of year. If you’re like me, you’re also noticing the increasing number of drivers who just aren’t paying enough attention to the road.

We see it every day: someone talking on the phone, texting or finding their favorite song on the music app in their car. Yet we know this is risky behavior.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety produces the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, a nationwide survey of U.S. motorists that measures the degree to which traffic safety is valued and pursued by drivers. The 2017 index found that although most drivers desire a greater level of security behind the wheel, their actual behaviors often contradict their attitudes.

Unsafe driving behaviors – such as running red lights, texting while driving and driving while impaired – are perceived as posing serious threats to personal safety. However, despite these strongly held concerns many individuals admit to engaging in unsafe driving practices. Most drivers (89 percent) reported engaging in at least one of the risky behaviors examined in the survey within a 30-day period.

We can do better. To stay safe on the road this summer, avoid distractions that take your eyes or attention off the road, including using cellphones, infotainment systems or navigation systems. Preprogram your GPS and properly secure children and pets before you hit the road. Avoid eating messy foods and set your phone to “do not disturb” mode to help keep your focus on what’s happening on the road.

AAA urges drivers to avoid distractions and act responsibly when behind the wheel. Lives depend on it.

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