AAA encourages Ohioans to plan for vacation
COLUMBUS (January 29, 2018) – More than half of Americans fail to use all their vacation time, creating a stockpile of 662 million unused vacation days each year. January 30, 2018 is National Plan for Vacation Day. AAA, in collaboration with Project: Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association, encourages workers to take this day to declare their vacation days for the rest of the year.
In Ohio, 49 percent of employees leave nearly 22 million vacation days unused. This takes a toll on families, worker productivity, stress levels and overall well-being. Research from Project: Time Off shows that those who plan and take vacations are happier than non-planners.
Taking vacation also helps stimulate the economy. If Americans use their vacation time, it would generate $128 billion in direct spending, and have an overall economic impact of $236 billion for the U.S. economy.
AAA suggests the following tips to make vacation planning a reality:
Create a tentative budget and schedule so your trip planning can be accomplished in a realistic manner.
Research and understand the pros and cons of traveling to a destination during your preferred time frame. Identify attractions or activities you are most interested in and determine if they will be available.
Consider booking vacations with a travel agent. In addition to having in-depth expertise about destinations across the globe, travel agents have relationships with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere.
Plan ahead. If you are leaving the country you will need a passport, and possibly a visa or health documentation. It can take up to six weeks to get a new passport, so allow time to secure all necessary documents.
Consider purchasing travel insurance, which is designed to offer protection against sudden and unforeseen events. Check with a travel agent and carefully review insurance policies before purchasing, as coverage options vary.
More Drivers Embracing Self-Driving Cars
COLUMBUS (January 24, 2018) – Drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles, according to a new study from AAA. The annual survey reveals 63 percent of U.S. drivers are afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, down from 78 percent in early 2017.
“Americans are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles,” said AAA Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations Director Greg Brannon. “Compared to just a year ago, AAA found that 20 million more U.S. drivers would trust a self-driving vehicle to take them for a ride.”
Since 2016, AAA has conducted an annual study to better understand consumer attitude toward self-driving vehicles. The latest phase of this research reveals consumer attitudes toward automated vehicles are starting to shift. Key findings include:
Sixty three percent of U.S. drivers would be afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, down from 78 percent in 2017.
Forty six percent of U.S. drivers would feel less safe sharing the road with fully self-driving cars while they drive a regular car, compared to 54 percent in 2017.
Fifty one percent of U.S. drivers want semi-autonomous vehicle technology in their next vehicle, down from 59 percent in 2017.
In addition, the survey found male and millennial and male drivers are more trusting of autonomous technologies than women and older generations.
Although fears of self-driving vehicles appear to be easing, U.S. drivers report high confidence in their own driving abilities. Despite the fact that more than 90 percent of crashes involve human error, 73 percent of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers.
Men, in particular are confident in their driving skills, with 79 percent considering their driving skills better than average, compared to 68 percent of women.
“AAA found that American drivers are very confident in their driving abilities, which may explain some hesitation to give up full control to a self-driving vehicle,” Brannon said. “Education, exposure and experience will likely help ease consumer fears as we steer toward a more automated future.”
To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 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. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.
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