Michele Spring Reporting:

(Wednesday, April 11, 2018) The theme of this year’s traffic safety education campaign is “Don’t drive intoxicated – Don’t drive intexticated”. This campaign is targeting drivers to not engage in mobile activity that requires you to take your eyes, hands, or minds off the road.

AAA’s Director of Public Affairs, Herman Jenkins says what they mean by “intexticated” is when drivers are texting or operating a cell phone in any capacity while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

“Distracted driving is just as dangerous and just as fatal as driving while intoxicated. Distracted driving is now the third leading cause of traffic fatalities in this country.”

According to AAA, 45% of drivers admit to having read a text or email while driving in the past month, and 35% admit to having typed one.

“We’ve all seen it. You pull beside a vehicle in motion and the person is texting while they’re driving. When you see that you really want to be cautious and become more of a defensive driver yourself because that person is distracted.”

Herman adds that, although statistics have yet to show distracted driving is more common amongst younger drivers,  distracted driving is universal in age.

“The perception is that it is more young people and millennials but it’s really across the board. However, we do have through the AAA Foundation we do know that 12% of teen crashes involve cell phone usage. So, it’s dangerous for all ages but it’s not just restricted to millennials and teenagers, it happens to adults of all ages.”

AAA encourages motorists to eliminate distracted driving by following a few tips. Pull over, put it away or ask your passenger to help.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2018