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Woman with phone - Photo by Oleg Mikhaylov

Photo by Oleg Mikhaylov

As you probably know, AAA is North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization. The organization provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. It was founded in 1902 and has since advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

The two top priorities on AAA’s State Advocacy Agenda for 2013 are Distracted Driving and Teen Driver Safety.

In 2009, AAA launched a national campaign to ban text messaging while driving in all 50 states. There are still 11 states that do not prohibit drivers from texting, but AAA expects all 11 remaining states to consider this legislation in 2013. AAA points to statistics from NHTSA. Nine percent of deadly crashes and 18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 involved some form of distraction.

AAA will also influence states to strengthen their Graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs.

GDL is one of the most effective means of reducing teen driving deaths. While every state has some form of GDL, nearly every state also has room for further improvements, according to AAA. Only six states (Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma and West Virginia) have GDL systems that meet AAA’s guidelines for nighttime limits, passenger limits and practice requirements.

There has been a 57 percent decline in traffic fatalities for young drivers between 1995 and 2010. Safety experts credit GDL laws for much of this decline. Still, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, accounting for almost one in three fatalities in this age group.

We should probably expect stricter license requirements in the future, as well as the ban of cell phone use for novice drivers in all states.


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