RG&E and AAA New York State Join Forces to Remind Drivers About Dangers of Distracted Driving
Companies Urge Drivers to be Aware of Surroundings After Recent Accidents
ROCHESTER, NY — October 8, 2019 (10:30 a.m. EST) — RG&E, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. and AAA New York State, an advocate for traffic safety and security, today announced that they are working together to remind passenger and commercial drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
“RG&E has 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,” said Trish Nilsen, Director of Emergency Preparedness for RG&E. “It’s dangerous for those who cause the crash, first responders and the nearby public. It may also lead to neighbors and communities losing power while crews repair the damage. The company extends our thanks to AAA for helping to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving.”
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.
“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 RG&E has pointed out.”
The companies jointly urge drivers to use caution when operating motor vehicles by increasing awareness and resisting the urge to use devices that require you to take your eyes off the road. They also caution operators of commercial construction vehicles to make sure the dump beds of their trucks are down before entering the roadway.
Finally, RG&E and AAA offer the public the following safety tips 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 RG&E workers tell you it’s safe to get out of your car before exiting the vehicle.
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.
Nate Stone (RG&E)
Elizabeth Carey (AAA)
716.343.3078 (cell phone)