Majority of Illinois drivers say texting while driving is dangerous

Aurora, Ill. (April 01, 2016) – In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, AAA warns drivers to put it down, don’t text and drive and avoid any activities that divert attention from the primary driving task. Any distractions could endanger a driver, passengers, or others sharing the road including bicyclists or pedestrians.

In a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey, the majority of Illinois residents (93%) stated that texting while driving was their number one concern, followed by driving when tired (84%), talking on a hands-free cell phone (73%) and grooming (78%).

“Texting while driving is an activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the task of driving,” said director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “While people think they can multitask while behind the wheel, the focus really needs to remain on the task at hand - driving. The key to safe driving is learning to manage possible distractions.”      

Here are AAA’s top five tips to avoid texting while driving:

1. Silence your cell phone and turn off the vibration mechanism: Airplane mode is a setting available on many mobile phones. When activated, it suspends many of the device's signal transmitting functions, thereby disabling the phone's capacity to place or receive calls or use text messaging.  

2. Ask for help: Remind the people in your vehicle to be a good passenger and enlist their help. Ask your passengers to handle tasks such as texting, placing a call or programming your GPS.   

3. Ask family, friends and colleagues to respect your commute: Set mobile boundaries and ask them not to contact you during the hours of your commute.

4. Place your phone in the glove compartment or trunk: The old adage, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can be applied here. Wait until you’re at your destination or safely pull into a gas station or rest area to check messages.

5. Download a safety app: Get some technological help. Many mobile safety apps can help discourage texting while driving.

About The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among Illinois residents from January 29, 2016 – February 9, 2016.  A total of 411  residents completed the survey, with 375 who drive at least once a week.  Survey results have margin of error of ± 5.1 percentage points.  Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Illinois.