Press

AAA: Research Reveals Washington Parents Most Likely Drivers to Break State’s new E-DUI Law

November 14, 2018

New “Don’t Drive Intexticated” PSA puts you in the vehicle with a distracted driver – a must see

B-ROLL: “Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.” downloadable video assetswww.aaa.com/distracteddriving

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Nov. 13, 2018) – One year after Washington’s Driving Under the Influence of Electronics law took effect, a AAA study finds that 85 percent of Washington drivers say they are aware of the E-DUI law and its consequences, yet only 31 percent are driving distraction-free. AAA launches a new “Don’t drive intoxicated. Don’t drive intexicated.” television PSA that puts you inside a vehicle driven by a distracted driver, with deadly consequences.

AAA’s survey of 1,160 Washington drivers revealed, with few exceptions, that the group most likely to ignore the law and take unnecessary risks is ‘Parents with Children Living at Home’.

The most common illegal task Washington drivers continue to perform behind the wheel is setting driving directions on a navigation system or app. Of all the drivers surveyed by AAA, 82 percent say they have done this at least once in the past 30 days. For ‘Parents with Children Living at Home’, the number grows to 87 percent. That same disparity is seen among the top five most common illegal distractions:

Five Most Common Illegal Distractions - At least once in the past 30 days

                                                                                          All Drivers                    Parents w/kids at home    

Set navigation while driving                                              82%                                       87%                           

Read a text message, hand-held                                     68%                                       74%

Answer a call, hand-held                                                   60%                                       68%                                        

Sent text messages, hand-held                                       58%                                         68%           

Made a call, hand-held                                                      52%                                         66%

Of the drivers who said they still do these illegal behaviors on a DAILY basis, teens did them less often than ‘parents with children living at home’:

                                                                                        Teens                              Parents w/ kids at home

Set navigation while driving                                          19%                                                   21%

Read a text message, hand-held                                  19%                                                   22%

Answer a call, hand-held                                               10%                                                   22%                     

Sent text messages, hand-held                                    19%                                                   22%           

Made a call, hand-held                                                    5%                                                   13%

The AAA survey gave drivers a number of facts about cell phone use while driving and then asked which would make them reconsider their behavior behind the wheel. The number one statement selected by all drivers was:

“Talking on a cell phone or other device while driving and being legally drunk may have the same level of impairment.”

(A conclusion made by a University of Utah distracted driving study published in the summer of 2006.)

New Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.

That survey response acted as a catalyst for AAA’s new multi-year initiative to reduce deaths and injuries caused by cell phones and drivers. The centerpiece of the campaign is a “Don’t drive intoxicated. Don’t drive intexticated.” television message that makes it clear that the consequences of alcohol-impaired driving and texting while driving are the same – deaths and injuries.

From 2015 to 2017, distracted driving became the second leading driver-related cause of traffic fatalities in Washington State; edging out speeding, but behind driving under the influence. The Washington State Patrol is reporting a bit of good news; a small decrease (5.5 percent) in the number of distracted driver-involved collisions during the first 12 months under the state’s distracted driving law.

Identifying drunk driving as a socially unacceptable behavior has helped cut in half the number of alcohol-impaired crash fatalities since the 1980’s. The “Don’t drive intexticated” campaign serves a similar purpose by alerting drivers who would never consider drinking alcohol behind the wheel that texting and driving also cause deadly consequences.

In addition to putting the “Don’t drive intexticated” PSAs on television, AAA Washington is taking its anti-distracted driving campaign to young children through a partnership with StudioEast’s StoryBook Theater. Plus, next April, AAA will hold a pledge drive, asking Washington drivers for their promise to drive distraction-free.

The following tips can help drivers stop driving distracted.

Ways to Prevent Driving Intexticated

  1. PUT IT AWAY: Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
  2. KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING: If using a navigation system, program your destination before driving.
  3. PULL OVER: If you have to call or text while driving, pull off the road safely and stop first.
  4. ASK PASSENGERS FOR HELP: If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
  5. BE A GOOD PASSENGER: Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
  6. DON’T BE A DISTRACTION: Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.
  7. EVERYONE SHOULD PREVENT BEING INTEXTICATED: Just as drivers need to pay attention, so do pedestrians and bicyclists. Never call, text or play games while walking or cycling.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by GMA Research on behalf of AAA Washington in May/June 2018. The online survey was taken by 1,160 Washington residents, 16 years or older, who have a valid driver’s license and drive at least 20 miles per week on average. The study carries a maximum statistical error of +/- 2.9% at the 95% confidence level.  Click here for the full report.

AAA Washington has been serving members and the traveling public since 1904. The organization provides a variety of exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts, maps and personalized trip planning, to its million plus members. In addition, its full-service travel and insurance agencies provide products and services for members and the public. Additional information is available through the company’s offices in Washington and northern Idaho, at www.AAA.com, or by calling 1-800-562-2582.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Cook (425) 646-2055
JenniferCook@aaawa.com

Kelly Just (425) 467-7400
KellyJust@aaawa.com