Posts Tagged ‘Pedestrian’

Michael GreenMore than Two Out of Three Drivers Use Cell Phone Despite Crash Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 11, 2013) – High school-aged teens report using their phones or texting while driving substantially less often than adults do, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  While the public often cites teens as being the most common offenders, a recent survey found that adult drivers ages 25-39 were the most likely to admit engaging in these risky behaviors behind the wheel.

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“It’s noteworthy that the young novice drivers are using their phones while driving less than older drivers since, given their inexperience, they are especially susceptible to distracted driving crashes,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “At the same time, it is discouraging that cell phone usage picks up when drivers gain more experience, as using a phone can lead to dangerous distractions behind the wheel.”

Two out of three drivers reported using a cell while driving within the past month. Forty-three percent of adults ages 25-39 reported doing so fairly often or regularly while driving, compared to only 20 percent of teens.  Motorists age 60 and up were the least likely to report using a phone.

Age

Reported Using Phone

While Driving

Reported Using Phone

Fairly Often / Regularly While Driving

16-18

58 percent

20 percent

19-24

72 percent

27 percent

25-39

82 percent

43 percent

40-59

72 percent

30 percent

60-74

51 percent

15 percent

75+

31 percent

7 percent

Total

67 percent

28 percent

“Using your phone while driving may seem safe, but it roughly quadruples your risk of being in a crash according to previous research,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “None of us is immune from the dangers of distracted driving. The best advice is to hang up and drive.”

More than one-in-four motorists reported sending a text or email while driving within the past month. Adults ages 25-39 reported texting and driving most frequently, while those age 60 and up reported doing it the least.

Age

Reporting Sending Text or Email

While Driving

Reported Sending Text or Email

Fairly Often / Regularly While Driving

16-18

31 percent

7 percent

19-24

42 percent

11 percent

25-39

45 percent

10 percent

40-59

24 percent

4 percent

60-74

7 percent

2 percent

75+

1 percent

1 percent

Total

26 percent

6 percent

Nearly nine-in-ten (88 percent) motorists believe distracted driving is a bigger problem now than it was three years ago. About 89 percent believe that other drivers talking on a cell phone while driving is a serious threat to their personal safety, while nearly all (96 percent) believe that others texting or emailing while behind the wheel is a serious threat.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one out of every ten fatal crashes involves distraction, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths per year, although experts agree the numbers are likely underestimated. Previous research shows that hands-free cell phones offer no significant safety benefits over handheld phones – hands-free is not risk-free.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety collected the data as part of the 2013 Traffic Safety Culture Index. The data are from a sample of 2,325 licensed drivers, ages 16 and older, who reported driving in the past 30 days.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur.  Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Stepping Up and Out Safely

August 5th, 2013 by admin

Nancy White(WASHINGTON, August 5, 2013) People of all ages –from the youngest to the oldest – enjoy walking for leisure, exercise or even as part of their commute, which is why pedestrian safety is so important.   AAA is pleased that Secretary Foxx is bringing attention to this important traffic safety issue and is working with communities across the country to raise awareness on walking safely.

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Pedestrian fatalities account for a significant percentage of all traffic related fatalities.   AAA believes that consumer education is a key component of a comprehensive pedestrian program that includes helping walkers get to their destinations safely.  With over 55 million children across the U.S. heading back to school in the next few weeks, it’s important that we all slow down and be mindful of school crossing zones and crossing guards, maintaining safe speed limits and keeping safety top of mind.

Nancy White

Originally released June 12, 2013

New research reveals that voice-activated in-car technologies dangerously undermine driver attention

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WASHINGTON, D.C., – Hands-free technologies might make it easier for motorists to text, talk on the phone, or even use Facebook while they drive, but new findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show dangerous mental distractions exist even when drivers keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.  The research found that as mental workload and distractions increase reaction time slows, brain function is compromised, drivers scan the road less and miss visual cues, potentially resulting in drivers not seeing items right in front of them including stop signs and pedestrians. This is the most comprehensive study of its kind to look at the mental distraction of drivers and arms AAA with evidence to appeal to the public to not use these voice-to-text features while their vehicle is in motion.

With a predicted five-fold increase in infotainment systems in new vehicles by 2018, AAA is calling for action as result of this landmark research. “There is a looming public safety crisis ahead with the future proliferation of these in-vehicle technologies,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “It’s time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental  distractions built into cars, particularly with the common public misperception that hands-free means risk-free.”

Cognitive distraction expert Dr. David Strayer and his research team at the University of Utah measured brainwaves, eye movement and other metrics to assess what happens to drivers’ mental workload when they attempt to do multiple things at once, building upon decades of research in the aerospace and automotive industries. The research included:

  • Cameras mounted inside an instrumented car to track eye and head movement of drivers.
  • A Detection-Response-Task device known as the “DRT” was used to record driver reaction time in response to triggers of red and green lights added to their field of vision.
  • A special electroencephalographic (EEG)-configured skull cap was used to chart participants’ brain activity so that researchers could determine mental workload.

Using established research protocols borrowed from aviation psychology and a variety of performance metrics, drivers engaged in common tasks, from listening to an audio book or talking on the phone to listening and responding to voice-activated emails while behind the wheel. Researchers used the results to rate the levels of mental distraction drivers experienced while performing each of the tasks. Similar to the Saffir-Simpson scale used for hurricanes, the levels of mental distraction are represented on a scale:

  • Tasks such as listening to the radio ranked as a category “1” level of distraction or a minimal risk.
  • Talking on a cell-phone, both handheld and hands-free, resulted in a “2” or a moderate risk.
  • Listening and responding to in-vehicle, voice-activated email features increased mental workload and distraction levels of the drivers to a “3” rating or one of extensive risk.

“These findings reinforce previous research that hands-free is not risk-free,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “Increased mental workload and cognitive distractions can lead to a type of tunnel vision or inattention blindness where motorists don’t see potential hazards right in front of them.” Based on this research, AAA urges the automotive and electronics industries to join us in exploring:

  • Limiting use of voice-activated technology to core driving-related activities such as climate control, windshield wipers and cruise control, and to ensure these applications do not lead to increased safety risk due to mental distraction while the car is moving.
  • Disabling certain functionalities of voice-to-text technologies such as using social media or interacting with e-mail and text messages so that they are inoperable while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Educating vehicle owners and mobile device users about the responsible use and safety risks for in-vehicle technologies.

AAA also is using the findings to promote dialogue with policy makers, safety advocates and industry to ensure that these emerging in-vehicle technologies won’t lead to unintentional compromises in public safety.  As part of this effort, AAA has already met with safety advocates and provided copies of the report to CEOs of all major U.S. automakers.

“This study constitutes the most in-depth analysis to date of mental distractions behind the wheel.  AAA is hopeful that it will serve as a stepping stone toward working in collaboration with automakers to promote our shared goal of improving safety for all drivers,” said Darbelnet. “Specifically, these increasingly common voice-driven, in-vehicle technologies should be limited to use for just core driving tasks unless the activity results in no significant driver distraction.”

To view the full Cognitive Distraction in the Vehicle report, the AAA Foundation’s Research Compendium on Cognitive Distraction or AAA’s Distracted Driving Fact Sheet, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur.  Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

(ORLANDO, November 20, 2012) Thanksgiving is a holiday many associate with abundant food and drink, but before picking up any glasses to drink, AAA strongly encourages you to arrange a safe ride home.

AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result. PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.  Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow services on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere. AAA strongly encourages motorists to pick a designated driver before they head out for any Thanksgiving celebrations.

*Please note availability is subject to change without notice

AAA Clubs Currently Offering a Tipsy Tow Program for Thanksgiving (November 22)

  • The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
  • AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Morris, Essex and Union counties)
  • AAA South Dakota (Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Mitchell and Yankton)
  • AAA Oklahoma (Metro Tulsa, Metro Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee, Tahlequah and Lawton)
  • AAA Tidewater (Greater Hampton Roads area : Cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Yorktown and Williamsburg, VA)
  • AAA Northwest Ohio ( available in Lucas, Fulton, Wood, Henry, Williams, Defiance, Paulding and Ottawa counties)
  • AAA Northern California (in all club territories)
  • AAA Nevada ( Statewide)
  • AAA Utah (Statewide)
  • AAA Arizona (Statewide)

(ORLANDO, October 29, 2012) Before setting out for any Halloween celebrations in your best costumes or trick-or-treat outfits, AAA strongly encourages you to arrange a safe ride home.

AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result. PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.  Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.

While not a nationwide program, a number of AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow services on select dates for members and nonmembers. This service is not available everywhere. AAA strongly encourages motorists to pick a designated driver before they head out for any Halloween celebrations.

*Please note availability is subject to change without notice

AAA Clubs Currently Offering a Tipsy Tow Program for Halloween (October 31, 2012)

  • The Auto Club Group (Statewide in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Program is called “Tow-to-Go”)
  • AAA New Jersey Automobile Club (Morris, Essex and Union counties)
  • AAA Northern California (in all club territories)
  • AAA Nevada ( Statewide)
  • AAA Utah (Statewide)
  • AAA Tidewater (Greater Hampton Roads area : Cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Yorktown and Williamsburg, VA)

For a comprehensive list of other community programs listed state by state, please visit AAA’s DUI Justice Link Website.

WASHINGTON, D.C. , October 28, 2011

Erin SteppEvery Halloween, monsters, zombies and ghouls fill the streets across the United States to celebrate. And if that’s not scary enough, AAA uncovered some frightening statistics. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, October 31 is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians.

“On Halloween, motorists need to be especially vigilant between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, when pedestrians are most vulnerable,” said Jennifer Huebner Davidson, AAA manager of traffic safety advocacy. “Slowing down, watching for trick-or-treaters who may cross between cars or mid-block and designating a sober driver may save a life.”

To help make the roadways safer this Halloween, AAA offers motorists a few easy tips:

  • Avoid neighborhood shortcuts. If possible, avoid cutting through residential streets where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present. When providing directions to a party, try not to route guests through neighborhoods unnecessarily.
  • Watch for children in the street. Watch for children walking on streets, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters, often in dark costumes, may not pay attention to traffic and cross mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Slow down. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car traveling at 35 mph compared to 25 mph. What seems like a small difference—just 10 mph—can be the difference between life and death
  • Drive sober. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of all motor vehicle deaths resulting in an average of one death every 45 minutes. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink. Visit www.PreventDUI.AAA.com to learn more.

A few simple steps can help parents keep their trick-or-treaters safe, too:

  • Trick-or-Treat together. AAA recommends that parents accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until the age of 12.
  • Make a plan. Review trick-or-treating safety precautions and plan the route ahead of time. Remind children never to cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Check costumes. Choose disguises that don’t obstruct vision and opt for non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Check and adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective material or tape to keep kids visible.
  • Buckle up. If driving trick-or-treaters between neighborhoods, always use appropriate car seats and have children exit and enter on the passenger side of the vehicle.

For additional tips to keep Halloween safe, including tips for parents and trick-or-treaters, visit AAA.com/PublicAffairs.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

 

ORLANDO, Florida, April 30, 2008

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of AAA’s national traffic safety programs, which have helped teach generations of children and adults how to be safer drivers and protect them from crashes.

Well known as the nation’s largest organization for motorists, AAA has been a pioneer in national traffic safety initiatives beginning with the establishment of its national traffic safety department in 1928.

“AAA is committed to the safety and security of motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and children,” said Robert L. Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA. “Over the past 80 years AAA has been at the forefront in the development of programs to protect our members and the traveling public. We continue that commitment today through our traffic safety and driver improvement programs and advocacy efforts addressing key issues such as child passenger safety, senior mobility and teen driver safety.”

Since the AAA School Safety Patrol started in 1920 and the first driver training was developed in 1935, AAA’s legacy of traffic safety programs has continued and grown. Through the years, AAA has added programs to address important issues such as child passenger safety, teen and senior driver safety, seatbelt usage and air bag safety.

Today, AAA offers a wide array of traffic safety programs to address the issues affecting its more than 51 million members as well as other drivers across North America, including:

  • Driver Education – AAA offers driver improvement programs for drivers at all levels of experience, from pre-permit and novice drivers to mature operators. AAA also provides parents instruction and guidance on teaching their teens to drive, as well as a network of approved driving schools.
  • Child Passenger Safety – AAA is a strong advocate for child passenger safety and has a long-term commitment to reducing injuries and deaths through its Seated, Safe & Secure campaign initiated in 2002. Through the initiative, AAA has worked to close loopholes in child restraint laws across the nation and educate the public about proper use of child restraints. AAA clubs have also been active in local communities promoting child passenger safety.
  • Senior Mobility – AAA launched its Lifelong Safety Mobility initiative in 2003 to address the mobility needs of our country’s growing senior population. Since then, AAA has developed a suite of senior programs as part of the initiative. AAA Roadwise Review is a computer-based screening which allows seniors to measure in the privacy of their own home the eight functional abilities shown to be the strongest predictors of crash risk among older drivers. CarFit, an educational program developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), helps mature drivers find out how well they “fit” with their vehicles, and what actions might be taken to improve their fit. AAA’s Smart Features for Mature Drivers educates on a broad range of vehicle features that help address health issues frequently faced by seniors, such as arthritic hands, diminished vision and loss of upper body strength.
  • In-School Programs – AAA offers several in-school traffic safety programs, including the AAA School Safety Patrol program and National School Traffic Safety Poster program, which both date back more than 60 years. Each fall, AAA also conducts an annual School’s Open—Drive Carefully public education campaign to remind motorists and students of the importance of school-zone safety.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com

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Key Dates in AAA’s Traffic Safety History

1902 Nine motor clubs meet in Chicago to form the American Automotive Association

1920 AAA School Safety Patrol program gets underway

1928 AAA National Traffic Safety department established

1935 AAA pioneers driver education

1936 First AAA club owned and operated commercial driving school opens in Pennsylvania

1937 Pedestrian Protection Program introduced

First edition of How to Drive manual published

1945 National School Traffic Safety Poster Program begins

1947 Creation of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

1949 School Safety Patrol Lifesaving Award program initiated

1982 AAA’s Safe Driving for Mature Operators course introduced

1989 AAA and other safety groups persuade federal government to require lap/shoulder safety belts in rear seats of all passenger vehicles

1996 Teaching Your Teens to Drive: A Partnership for Survival driver education programs introduced

1997 ABC’s of Air Bag Safety education campaign reaches more than 31 million children

2002 Seated, Safe and Secure child passenger safety initiative launched

2003 Lifelong Safe Mobility senior mobility initiative launched

2006 AAA launches online driver improvement courses

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