AAA Urges Motorists to Be Safe When Returning to the Roads After Several Months at Home
By Space Coast Daily // June 12, 2020
Annual survey reveals that many drivers engage in behaviors they know are risky
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Floridians are returning to the road after spending several months at home due to COVID-19. AAA urges motorists to avoid falling back into the dangerous driving habits revealed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI). View the fact sheet.
“The pandemic has highlighted the extent to which individual decisions and behaviors can impact the health and safety of others,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We need to remember that we are all ‘in this together’ when it comes to safety on the road as well.”
The TSCI, conducted before the pandemic, shows a significant gap between what drivers consider dangerous and what they report doing themselves.
While it reveals that drivers perceive distracted, aggressive, drowsy, and impaired driving as dangerous, many admitted to engaging in at least one of these behaviors within 30 days of the survey.
|Behavior||Perceive as Dangerous||Did it in the last 30 days|
|Reading on a cell phone||94.3%||38.6%|
|Typing on a cell phone||96.2%||29.3%|
|Talking on a handheld cell phone||79.7%||43.2%|
|Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway||55.1%||42.8%|
|Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street||64%||41.5%|
|Driving through a red light||86%||31%|
|Driving while being so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open||96.1%||23.6%|
|Driving after drinking enough alcohol to be over the legal limit||94%||9.8%|
|Driving within an hour after using marijuana||68.7%||6.3%|
|Driving while using potentially impairing prescription drugs||88.4%||5.8%|
AAA recommends these safety tips to keep everyone safe on the road:
• Out of sight, out of mind. Stow your smartphone away, turn it to airplane mode, or activate call/text blocking features like Apple’s Do Not Disturb.
• Slow down. Drivers tend to overestimate time saved by speeding. You’d have to travel 100 miles to save roughly 5 minutes, moving at 75 mph instead of 70 mph. Speed kills and isn’t worth the cost.
• Stay alert. Get adequate rest and stop driving if you become sleepy. Fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment, and vision, causing people who are very tired to behave in similar ways to those who are drunk.
• Drive sober. If you consume marijuana, alcohol, or use potentially impairing prescription medications, then don’t drive. And if you’re going to drive, then don’t consume these substances. If you are taking prescription medications, visit Roadwise Rx to learn if they can impair driving.
• Watch for vulnerable road users. Biking and walking have soared in popularity this year, and it is the responsibility of every driver to watch and share the road safely with cyclists and pedestrians.
In addition to remembering these safety tips, AAA recommends that drivers make sure their vehicle is ready to roll by having it inspected at a AAA Car Care Plus or AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
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