Football fans will be hitting the roads this weekend with college seasons kicking off. But the real difference in winning and losing can depend upon not driving while intoxicated or “intexticated”.
With Labor Day trips to the lake and other gatherings adding to the busy weekend, odds of distracted and impaired drivers on the road will increase.
In the five year period from 2013-2017, an average of 6 people were killed and 148 people were injured in vehicle crashes on Kansas roadways during the 4-day Labor Day holiday, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.
AAA Kansas reminds drivers to plan ahead if drinking or using drugs is likely to be part of holiday activities. “Before you head out, have a plan on how you are getting home,” warns Shawn Steward, AAA Kansas spokesman. “Select a designated driver for the day, use a ride share service or cab or stay over with a friend.”
In recent years, distracted driving has become as great a concern as impaired driving, according to AAA Kansas. Wrecks due to “intextication” kill an average of nine people and injure 1,000 each day, nationally*. Game days and lake travel increase road congestion and require intense driving concentration. “Using an electronic device in any way while driving increases your risk of a crash as much as eight times. Put it out of reach before you leave,” said AAA Kansas’ Steward.
AAA urges friends and families to discuss how to stay in touch without taking distracted driving risks. “Reinforce your commitment not to drive ‘intexticated’ by taking the pledge at AAA.com/DontDriveDistracted,” AAA Kansas’ Steward said.
AAA Kansas expects 1,400 roadside rescues due to vehicle issues
Based on last year, AAA Kansas expects to get calls for rescues from 1,400 motorists over the four-day Labor Day weekend. Lives of those with roadside breakdowns can be endangered by other drivers passing by. Caution is urged if this occurs. Get out of your car and as far away from oncoming traffic as possible while contacting help or trying to make repairs.
Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA Kansas recommends motorists take their vehicles to a trusted car service and repair facility. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections (including the spare tire) go a long way toward reducing the chances of being stranded due to a breakdown.
“Have a plan should you develop car problems,” AAA Kansas’ Steward added. “A 12-month AAA membership gives those traveling on busy roads to football games and to remote locations to enjoy nature peace of mind for about $1.50 a week. AAA’s trained roadside service technicians will respond around the clock and are much more reliable than family or friends to help you get on your way quickly.”