AAA and SEMCOG Team Up for Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign
AAA - The Auto Club Group SEMCOG
Susan Hiltz, Public Affairs Director, Michigan Trevor Layton, SEMCOG Communications
C: 586.940.0278 O: 313.580.6195
AAA and SEMCOG Team Up for Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign
“Walk.Bike.Drive. Safe” in Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan (October 1, 2018) — With the first week of the Fall season setting in, schools back in session, workplace routines returned to a more normal pace and Halloween on the horizon, AAA and SEMCOG are teaming up for their very first Autumn Traffic Safety Campaign. This is part of their ongoing collaboration with communities and agencies throughout the region to educate the public through media, material/information distribution, community events and public awareness activities throughout the year.
The combination of cooler temperatures, shorter daylight hours and increased darkness presents a higher risk for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle crashes and fatalities. No matter what method of transportation people are using this Autumn, both organizations agree that safety must remain a top priority. Along with the recently released “Quick Facts” Report from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), these startling statistics offer further proof of the risk factors:
“The main goal of this campaign and our ongoing partnership with AAA is to reduce the number and severity of non-motorized crashes, increase knowledge of the responsibilities of walkers, bicyclists and motorists, and build respect between all road users,” said Kathleen Lomako, Executive Director of SEMCOG.
- 94% of crashes are due to human error
- 70% of pedestrian deaths happen outside of a crosswalk
- 65% of bicyclists’ deaths happen in the dark
In support of this campaign, a series of public service billboards, radio announcements, TV spots, GasTV messages and social media posts are set to run across the Southeast Michigan media landscape starting this month. In addition, a series of videos are available for downloading and posting through THIS LINK.
“As an advocate for the motoring, biking and walking public, AAA takes pride in teaming up with SEMCOG for this targeted campaign that promotes public awareness about traffic safety risks during the Fall season. We look forward to these messages having a positive impact on Michigan motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians,” added Susan Hiltz, Michigan Public Affairs Director for AAA – The Auto Club Group.
AAA and SEMCOG offer these Walk.Bike.Drive. Safe tips:
- Look left-right-left before crossing a street and watch for turning vehicles.
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections.
- Obey all traffic signals. Only enter the street during the “WALK” symbol when crossing at a signal.
- Walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
- Yield the right-of-way to motorists and bicyclists when crossing outside of a marked crosswalk.
- Allow ample time for a vehicle to yield prior to entering the street.
- Assume drivers see you. Wait for them to stop and make eye contact before crossing a street.
- Walk after dark and in bad weather without bright and reflective clothing.
- Walk distracted, including talking or texting on your phone or listening to headphones.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Ride with traffic, not against it, including on sidewalks and paths.
- Watch for turning vehicles at intersections and driveways.
- Use your hands to signal when you plan to turn, slow down, or stop.
- Wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on sidewalks or crosswalks.
- Give an audible warning before you pass people on a sidewalk or bicyclists on the road or path.
- Ride after dark without a white headlight, a red rear light, and bright and reflective clothing.
- Ride distracted, including talking or texting on your phone or listening to headphones.
- Watch for people who are walking and biking.
- Yield to people walking and biking when turning.
- Stop or yield to people within all crosswalks. Crosswalks exist wherever sidewalks cross roads, even if no lines are painted in the road.
- Share the road with bicyclists. They are legally allowed to ride on all roads, even when there is a bike lane or side path present.
- Leave at least 3 feet when passing bicyclists.
- Obey the posted speed limit.
- Block or park in crosswalks and bike lanes.
- Pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Drive distracted, including talking or texting on your phone.
- Drive after consuming alcohol or drugs.
Quick Facts Report – Key Findings from Southeast Michigan Traffic Crash Data
Traffic fatalities down, but serious injuries on the rise
- The number of traffic crashes in Southeast Michigan remained steady in 2017. There were 145,427 total crashes, a down less than one percent from 2016, but still up nine percent from 2008.
- Traffic fatalities decreased for the first time in seven years, down from 430 in 2016 to 369 in 2017. The 14 percent decrease was the largest decrease in fatalities in the past decade.
- Serious injuries increased for the second consecutive year, up eight percent to 2,235 in 2017.
Pedestrian crashes and serious injuries rising
- Crashes involving pedestrians increased two percent, while pedestrian serious injuries increased 32 percent. Pedestrian fatalities decreased for a second year, down 18 percent from 2016 but still up 26 percent from 2008.
- In 2017, pedestrian crashes still accounted for less than one percent of all crashes, yet pedestrians accounted for 22 percent of all traffic fatalities. Nationally, pedestrian fatalities account for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Bicycle crashes and fatalities down, serious injuries continue to increase
- Crashes involving bicycles decreased for the first time in three years, down 15 percent to 914.
- Bicyclist fatalities dropped to five, a 69 percent decrease and 10-year low.
- Bicyclist serious injuries increased for the second consecutive year, up 29 percent.
AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.6 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.
SEMCOG is a regional planning partnership of governmental units serving 4.7 million people in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan striving to enhance the region's quality of life. Learn more about SEMCOG HERE.
The Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan was developed by SEMCOG. It utilizes the four Es of safety: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency medical services to address safety issues in the region. SEMCOG uses crash data from the Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIC), to update various safety resources. Based on 2017 data, SEMCOG has updated information on traffic crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries. Crash factors identified as key emphasis areas include older drivers, younger drivers, pedestrians, bicycles, lane departures, drugs, and alcohol. Learn more about the Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan HERE.