Distracted Driving Causes Fatal Crashes

BURNSVILLE, Minn., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ — In the midst of the holidays, multitasking will become even greater as we juggle work, family and holiday preparations. In addition, many people will be driving significant distances to visit family and friends. Not coincidentally, this time of year has the greatest number of fatal automobile crashes. Winter driving conditions cause many automobile crashes, but many people do not know that distracted driving causes approximately 25 percent of those fatal automobile crashes.

AAA Minnesota/Iowa wants to draw your attention to the most common driving distractions and provide some driving tips to ensure your safety as well as everyone else’s safety during the holiday season.

According to a 2001 national survey conducted by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), activities drivers engage in while driving include: talking to passengers (96%), adjusting vehicle climate/radio controls (89%), eating a meal/snack (74%), using a cell phone (51%), tending to children (41%), reading a map/publication (34%), grooming (19%), and preparing for work (11%).

Along with distracted driving, inconsiderate driving causes many automobile crashes at this time of year as people become stressed out and release their frustration behind the wheel of their vehicle. As important as it is to stay focused on driving, it is also very important to share the road with others and understand they may be feeling the same stress as you are feeling.

A few safe driving tips particularly important this time of year include: prepare yourself mentally and physically before getting behind the wheel; remain calm despite other’s bad behavior; drive courteously by allowing others to pass or merge; practice proper space management by not tailgating; avoid the urge to gawk at other’s unfortunate crashes; drive safe and sober; and always wear your seat belt.

AAA Minnesota/Iowa wants to ensure everyone has a safe holiday season and a happy new year. We hope you will take extra precautions so you can be there with your loved ones for the holidays.

AAA Minnesota/Iowa, which includes more than 720,000 members, offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest, with 3.1 million members in eight states. ACG clubs belong to the national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization, with more than 47 million members in the United States and Canada.

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