AAA Members share their driving tips.
Summer is road trip season, and with thousands of people traveling, it’s also a good time to spotlight the importance of safe driving behaviors.
Speeding, driving while impaired by alcohol and not using safety belts are some of the biggest factors in traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And even though drivers are aware of how dangerous these behaviors are, many continue to engage in them. In fact, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that a long list of risky driving behaviors—including speeding, texting, aggressive driving and driving while tired—increased from 2020 to 2021.
AAA recommends that everyone behind the wheel, from first time drivers to seasoned pros, keep these safety tips top of mind:
- Put away your phone.
- Slow down. Drive the speed limit or the appropriate speed for the road and the weather conditions.
- Stay alert and awake.
- Drive sober.
- Wear your safety belt for every ride.
Sound advice for driving safely and defensively
In the spirit of reminding others to be more mindful on the road, we asked AAA Members what advice they’d give to new drivers today.
“Do not text and drive.”
—Audrey D., AAA Member since 2012, South Carolina
- Proof point: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 92% of drivers believe texting while driving to be extremely dangerous, but 26% admitted to doing it in the past 30 days.
“Drive defensively, and always watch for other drivers to do the unexpected.”
—Bruce C., AAA Member since 2018, Colorado
- Proof point: A total of 38,824 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020 (a fact published in 2022). Decision errors such as driving too fast, false assumptions about others’ actions, and illegal maneuvers contribute to 33% of crashes.
“Enroll in AAA—if your car breaks down or your battery dies, they are only a phone call away.” —Kevin R., AAA Member since 1981, North Carolina
- Proof point: AAA handles over 8 million battery calls from members each year.
“Keep your attention on the road. Learn the sounds your car makes in different conditions and learn how to act/react if needed.” —Valerie H, AAA Member since 1988, Michigan
- Proof point: If your car roars, squeaks or rattles, it means something’s wrong. Learn about eight common car noises and what you can do about them.
“Follow the laws. Drive with respect and courtesy for others. Drive slower in bad weather; allow more stopping room.” —Lee N., AAA Member since 2014, Colorado
- Proof point: AAA recommends that when driving in bad weather, accelerate and decelerate slowly to maintain traction, and keep plenty of distance between your car and other vehicles. Never use cruise control on any slippery surface.