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AAA Texas Warns About Increased Traffic and Dangerous Driving Habits During SXSW

Austin skyline by Anne Worner
Photo copyright Anne Worner  

(Austin, TX) – As Austin prepares to once again host South by Southwest, AAA Texas reminds drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to obey traffic safety laws, be aware of others, and use common sense to prevent injuries and fatalities. This year South by Southwest takes place Fri., March 11 through Sun., March 20.


Unsafe driving habits are even more of a danger when there is increased traffic congestion. A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found about 87 percent of drivers engaged in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel within the past month including distracted driving, impaired driving, drowsy driving, speeding, running red lights or not wearing a seat belt. The report also found that 1 in 3 drivers have had a friend or relative seriously injured or killed in a crash, and 1 in 5 have been involved in a crash that was serious enough for someone to go to the hospital.


“Creativity, culture and entertainment will spread throughout Austin during the next few weeks,” said AAA Texas/New Mexico Representative Doug Shupe. “We remind everyone who uses the roads to be cautious, extra observant and obey all traffic laws, so South by Southwest will be remembered for technology, movies and music and not for crashes that lead to deaths and injuries.”


AAA Texas offers the following tips to stay safe during South by Southwest 2016:



  • Obey all traffic signals

  • Stay off the road when possible

  • Monitor the traffic around you so you can assess the risks you face

  • Never assume that because you can see vehicles they can see you

  • Wait until you reach your destination before calling people, texting or gaming

  • If you must text or make a call, stop in a safe location to do so

  • Remove headphones so you can hear what’s going on around you

  • Wear reflective clothing when walking at night and walk in well-lit areas



  • Ride as far to the right as safely and reasonably as you can

  • Don’t hug the pavement edge where debris or gravel might cause you to swerve into traffic

  • Always check over your shoulder and signal your intentions, even when just changing position in a lane

  • Ride on the street—not the sidewalk—and in the direction of traffic

  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks



  • Don’t be distracted by mobile devices, passengers, eating/drinking, adjusting controls, etc.

  • Never text and drive

  • Slow down and pay attention at all times, especially in areas with a lot of pedestrians

  • Check mirrors and blind spots for bicycles before turning, changing lanes or opening car doors

  • When passing a cyclist, reduce speed and give plenty of space

  • Always signal your turns

  • Never honk your horn at a bicyclist which could cause them to swerve into traffic

  • Drive sober. Always have a designated, non-drinking driver, cab or ride-sharing service, or plan for an overnight stay if you plan to drink alcohol


    As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Founded in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

CST 1016202-80 Copyright © AAA Texas, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
AAA Texas is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the state of Texas (with the exception of Texarkana).