Triple-A and NYSEG have announced they’re teaming up in an effort to remind New York drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
NYSEG officials say they’ve seen an uptick in the number of passenger vehicles that strike electric poles and commercial construction vehicles that come into contact with power lines and other electric equipment.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 88% of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise, with nearly half of all drivers admitting to recently talking on hand-held phones and another 35% reporting that they have sent a text or email while driving.
The companies jointly urge drivers to increase their awareness on the road and resist the urge to use devices that require you to take your eyes off of it. They also caution operators of commercial construction vehicles to make sure the dump beds of their trucks are down before entering the roadway.
“Studies show that drivers who talk on cellphones are four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said Elizabeth Carey, Director of Public Affairs for AAA of Western and Central New York. “When you text and drive, your chances of crashing increase eight times more than those who wait. Distracted driving can not only cost you your life, but can also negatively impact society in other tangible ways – as NYSEG has pointed out.”
More from NYSEG and AAA
The following are safety tips for the public should a fallen power line touch your car:
- Stay inside your car. The ground around your car may be energized.
- Sound the horn, roll down your windows and call for help.
- Warn others to stay away. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around your car can be injured.
- Use your mobile phone to call 911.
- Wait until the fire department, police, or NYSEG workers tell you it’s safe to get out of your car before exiting the ve
If your car is in contact with a fallen power line and starts on fire, follow these guidelines:
- Remove loose items of clothing.
- Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the vehicle so you are not touching the car when your feet hit the ground.
- Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.
Photos from AAA/NYSEG: