AAA is calling on all drivers to give up distracted drive for a week to prove to themselves they can do it for life. The campaign comes as the national motor club is pushing to get laws banning texting while driving passed in all 50 states by 2013. 18 states currently have such laws on the books and a bill banning the practice in Pennsylvania is slowly making its way through the state legislature. AAA spokesperson in Pittsburgh Brian Newbacher says the slogan “try it for a week, do it for life” has a double meaning. He says you can give up distracted driving for the rest of your life and maybe save your life in the process. He says it’s just like smoking, if you can give it up for a week you can do it forever.
Newbacher says texting is a double danger for drivers. Not only are drivers taking their eyes off the road for up to 5 seconds at a time but they are also mentally distracted by the message itself. He says recent studies show at least 80-percent of respondents support bans on texting and a recent survey of AAA members found that number to be 93%. That comes at the same time that a national study found 1 in 5 drivers admit to texting while driving at least once in the last month and Newbacher says the number is even higher for drivers under the age of 20. The AAA campaign is focusing on texting while driving but Newbacher says it is going after all distracted driving including cell phone use, personal grooming and eating.