AAA Calls for Increased Caution on the Roads as Students Return to School

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (August 27, 2018) – Over the next two weeks, children across Minnesota and Iowa will start heading back to school.  Whether they are traveling by bus, in cars, by walking or on bicycles, everyone must do their part to ensure the safety of these students. According to the Transportation Research Board, about 100 children across the US are killed each year while walking to or from school and about 25,000 are injured.
 
While distracted driving is a safety concern throughout the year, the start of a new school season brings unique conditions that can easily cause drivers to become distracted behind the wheel. For many families, busy mornings that involve getting children dressed and ready for school on time create situations that make it challenging to fully focus on driving.
 
“The start of the school year is a particularly challenging time for parents because of new routines and increased traffic,” said Amy Stracke, Managing Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group and Executive Director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation. “We encourage anyone taking children to school, and all drivers, to establish habits that help them to stay focused on the task of driving.”
 
AAA – The Auto Club Group and its Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation — through their School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign — are reminding motorists that school season is starting soon and that it’s important to avoid distractions and use caution when driving near school zones, especially during drop-off and pick-up times.   
 
From 2007 to 2016, more school-age pedestrians were killed from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. than any other hours of the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
 
“With school back in session, we will see an increase in the number of motorists and pedestrians on our roadways,” said Nick Jarmusz, Director of Public Affairs for AAA. “AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign reminds us of the need for extra vigilance and patience so that everyone gets to their destination safely.”
 
AAA recommends drivers observe the following guidelines to help keep children safe:
 

 
About Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation
Established by AAA – The Auto Club Group in 2010, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACGTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to producing a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in the communities targeted by its efforts. ACGTSF provides programs, education and outreach to increase public awareness about the importance of traffic safety and improve driving behavior. ACGTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACGTSF’s purpose. Visit www.AAA.com/foundation for more information.
 
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.5 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 58 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.