November 24, 2004

Driver distractions can be fatal during holiday season

Burnsville, Minnesota – A combination of poor winter driving conditions and driver distractions cause many automobile crashes during the Holiday season, says the president of the AAA Minnesota/Iowa, Jeff Ogden.

“Many people do not know that distracted driving causes approximately 25 percent of those fatal automobile crashes,” said Odgen.

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. 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 behaviour; 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.

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