AAA launched a campaign aiming to raise targeting distracted driving during the busy summer driving season.
The “Don’t Drive Intexticated” initiative targets drivers who regularly engage with mobile devices that take their eyes, hands and minds off the road.
The initiative will put public safety reminders on gas pumps, reminding drivers whenever they fill their tank that the consequences of using a smartphone while driving are the same as drinking while driving.
Ultimately, AAA hopes to make texting while driving as socially unacceptable as drinking while driving.
AAA offered some tips to avoid distracted driving:
- Put it away. Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation. Set up "do not disturb while driving" features or apps to hold calls and texts and relay messages to those trying to contact you while driving.
- Know where you're going. If using a navigation system, program the destination before driving.
- Pull over. If you have to call or text while on the road, pull off the road safely and stop first.
- Ask passengers for help. If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
- Be a good passenger. Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
- Don't be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.
- Intextication is risky for those walking, too. Just as drivers need to pay attention, so do pedestrians and bicyclists. Never call, text or play games while walking or cycling.
- The public is invited to take the Don't Drive Intexticated pledge. Visit www.aaa.com/dontdrivedistracted to join this lifesaving effort.
The campaign especially targets teen drivers, as AAA noted a spike of crashes involving these drivers during a period it calls the “100 Deadliest Days” between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
In 2018 during that period, 23 people were killed in Ohio in crashes involving a teen driver between the ages of 15 and 18, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. Nine of these were teen drivers that were killed, nine were drivers outside that age group, and five were passengers between the ages of 15 and 24.
Three of these fatalities occurred in Greene County.
These gas pump reminders are a part of a larger, multi-year driving education campaign started in April 2018, centered around the theme of “Don’t Drive Intoxicated - Don’t Drive Intexicated.”