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Combatting ‘intextication’ aka driving while texting

AAA has launched a widespread safety campaign in Kentucky and other states to draw attention to the risks of driving while using mobile devices.

The campaign targets drivers who would never consider getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol but will use mobile devices while driving that dangerously take their eyes and minds off the road.

The campaign “Don’t Drive Intoxicated – Don’t Drive Intexticated” was created with the goal of making distracted driving as socially unacceptable as drinking and driving. And why not? The two are comparably dangerous and deadly.

AAA’s “intexticated” message makes clear that the consequences of both alcohol-impaired driving and texting while driving are often the same: deaths and injuries among drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Each day, distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures 1,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is the third leading driver-related cause of crash fatalities, surpassed only by speeding and driving under the influence.

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that even though 97 percent of drivers say texting/emailing while driving is a serious or very serious threat to their safety, 45 percent admit to having read a text or email while driving – and 35 percent admit to having typed one – in the past month. 

Decades of public education efforts against alcohol-impaired driving and related efforts have helped reduce the number of alcohol-impaired crash fatalities since the 1980s by 50%, according to the National Institutes of Health. The goal of the “intexticated” campaign is to make a similar impact when it comes to texting and emailing behind the wheel, too.

For tips on how to avoid distraction behind the wheel and to take a pledge against driving distracted, visit www.AAA.com/DontDriveDistracted.