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AAA To Focus Safety Efforts On Ways to Prevent Crashes Between Cars and Large Trucks

    WASHINGTON--July 23, 2002--In response to the release of a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's study on truck/car crashes, AAA announced today a nationwide campaign to educate drivers about ways to reduce crashes involving cars and trucks.
    As part of its campaign, AAA is re-launching its "Share With Care" program that offers practical advice to car and truck drivers on ways to avoid truck/car crashes.
    "AAA is committed to providing drivers with the knowledge and skills they need to help them reduce the chances of becoming a victim in a truck/car crash," said Susan Pikrallidas, AAA Vice President of Public Affairs. "With more knowledge about ways to avoid truck/car crashes, drivers will be able to avoid often catastrophic collisions with large trucks."
    Each year more than 5000 people are killed and 140,000 injured in car/truck crashes on our nation's roadways. When automobiles are involved in crashes with large trucks, car drivers are more likely to be killed. According to the Foundation study, car drivers account for nearly 98 percent of driver fatalities in truck/car crashes.
    AAA said today that it is launching an aggressive safety education campaign through its 80 clubs and more than 1,100 offices that will reach more than 45 million members and the general public. AAA will provide important safety messages through club publications and educational materials and through thousands of club-sponsored driver education and improvement programs.
    Specifically, AAA will focus on five driving behaviors that contribute to 65 percent of the dangerous actions that can lead to crashes between cars and trucks, as reported in the Foundation study. These behaviors include:

-- Failure to keep in lane or running off the road
-- Failure to yield the right of way
-- Driving too fast for conditions or above the speed limit
-- Failure to obey signs and signals
-- Driver Inattention

    "What we find particularly interesting about the findings of the Foundation's study is that people drive the same way around trucks as they do around other cars," said Pikrallidas. "This is actually good news for drivers because it tells us if we simply change the way we drive around trucks, we can significantly reduce our involvement in crashes with trucks and ultimately save lives. AAA is committed to helping drivers do that."
    As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its 45 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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