Posts Tagged ‘Ray LaHood’

AAA—the nation’s largest automobile club—is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) first-ever federally-issued guidelines to automakers on in-vehicle electronic devices.  With the explosion of in-vehicle wireless communications technologies, automakers, safety advocates and government agencies must work together to ensure that these products can be operated safely and that they are not simply making it more convenient and more appealing to drive while distracted.

“AAA considers Secretary LaHood’s Phase I guidelines to be a step in the right direction.  But available research evidence is extremely limited and highly inconclusive on the real risks that in-car communications technologies pose to drivers, even when systems are limited to voice-activation only,” says AAA CEO and President Robert L. Darbelnet. “Until the weight of evidence suggests that safety risks are mitigated, AAA urges drivers to use caution when using these in-vehicle technologies and strive to keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road, and their focus on the important driving task.” 

Additional Resources

This year, AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety are sponsoring groundbreaking research by the University of Utah that will enable AAA to advise consumers about the relative risk posed by various devices and technologies.  This study will help inform the wider policy discussion about the role of technology in addressing distracted driving and ultimately help educate motorists through a robust public safety campaign.

AAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety have long been leading advocates in educating motorists about the risks of distracted driving.  Most recently, AAA launched a legislative campaign in 2009 to advocate for all 50 states to enact bans on text messaging.  To date, 35 states have adopted this key traffic safety measure.  AAA also partnered with Secretary LaHood and Seventeen magazine to educate teen drivers on the dangers of distraction through the Two-Second Turn Off campaign. 

For more information or to view AAA’s videos on distracted driving, visit YouTube.AAA.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2010

AAA welcomes today’s announcement by US DOT to prohibit texting while driving for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators.

Troy GreenThis action reinforces the fact that any form of distracted driving by any driver is a serious traffic safety issue.

“AAA appreciates thecommitment ofSecretary LaHood and Administrator Ferro to address this serious traffic safety hazard,” said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso. “AAA’s state advocacy agenda for 2010 includes enacting texting while driving bans in all 50 states.”

Texting while driving presents a danger to all road users due to the significant time involved in writing, reading, and sending messages – all activities that take the driver’s eyes off the road – in addition to the mental distraction caused by taking one’s mind off the task at hand.Ample research illustrates the severely degrading effect that sending a text message has on driving performance.

“AAA strongly urges all drivers to focus on the important task of driving by avoiding all behaviors that result in distracted driving,”Marvaso added. “We look forward to continuing to work with the department on traffic safety issues, especially in the area of curbing distracting driving.”

For more information on AAA’s 50-state campaign to ban texting while driving, please visit AAA.com/publicaffairs.

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 AAA.com.

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