Thursday, December 30, 2010

Make Your Resolution to be a Safe Driver This New Year's

With New Year’s just two days away, this is a time when people take time to look back at what they’ve done over the past year and make resolutions to do things differently in the future. Most people resolve to go to the gym more, floss more often or to read more books instead of watching television. But why not making a resolution to be a safer and more responsible driver?

The AAA Foundation’s 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index survey found that nine out of ten drivers agreed that people who drive after drinking alcohol are a very serious threat to their personal safety and even more people said that it was completely unacceptable for someone to drive when they may have drank too much. However, one in ten drivers also admitted to having driven when they thought their BAC was close to possibly over the legal limit. This “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude among drivers is something we can all help eliminate from our roadways this holiday season.

New Year’s in particular is recognized as a night prone to increased drunk driving and a recent analysis of NHTSA data found that in the past decade an average of 80 people have been killed in alcohol-related crashes on New Year’s Day. This is almost 150% higher when compared to the same day of the week during the weeks surrounding New Year’s. Every alcohol-related traffic death is preventable and it’s the responsibility of all drivers to make the right choice before getting behind the wheel. So on behalf of the AAA family, I’d like to call on all drivers to be safer and more responsible drivers in 2011. You can start by pledging to drive alcohol and drug free this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AOTA Hosts Older Driver Awareness Week

Senior Safety & Mobility is one of the AAA Foundation’s four strategic focus areas of research; we understand how important this issue is for seniors, their families and roadway safety overall. That’s why I was pleased to hear that the American Occupational Therapist Association’s (AOTA) is hosting Older Driver Safety Awareness Week this week (Dec 6th-10th). The goal of the week is to “promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to ensuring older adults remain active in the community—shopping, working or volunteering—with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home.”

This description is very similar with the Foundation’s goals when it comes to promoting senior driver safety. It’s important that both older drivers and their families understand what resources are available to help address this sensitive topic. When a teenager gets his or her driver’s license it is a big step towards becoming an independent young adult. The opposite feeling can occurs with older drivers as many seniors feel their independence is being threatened when it comes to giving up the keys. However, driver training tools like DriveSharp can help seniors retain some abilities critical to safe driving and when the time does come to give up the keys, options such as Supplemental Transportation Programs (STP) are available. The Foundation offers several free resources including an online senior evaluation tool, Roadwise Review Online, and a searchable license policy database containing current licensing policies for seniors in each state. Also, we recently redesigned and updated our most popular older driver brochure, Drivers 65 Plus. All of these resources, along with other useful information regarding seniors, can be found at seniodrivers.org and through AAA’s new senior driver website AAASeniors.com