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Audi Asks Drivers to Take Its Safe Driving Pledge

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Audi's Driver's PledgeAudi is capitalizing on the top safety award its A6 model received from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety by asking drivers of all cars to take its safe driving pledge. And anyone who takes the pledge is entered in a contest whose grand prize is a trip for two to the Audi Sportscar Experience Challenge at the Audi Forum Sonoma in Northern California.

The “Driver’s Pledge” asks drivers to agree to the following:

  • I will place my hands at 9 and 3. Not 9 and latte.
  • I will not text, eat, read, groom myself, or partake in any other distracting behavior while driving.
  • I will not tailgate unless I’m in the parking lot of a stadium.
  • I will reduce my speed at yellow lights, rather than accelerate.
  • I will yield to cyclists, pedestrians, and the occasional deer.
  • I will not drive at a snail’s pace in the left hand lane (unless of course, a snail’s pace is appropriate).
  • I will do my best to follow all of the above.

But, as Liza Barth writes on ConsumerReports.org,

Although it has a tongue-in-cheek delivery, the underlying message is good. We might ask Audi to take this to heart and simplify their controls, as well.

For example, our engineers’ tech report on the 2011 Audi A8 noted: ‘The A8 has complicated controls. Most climate and radio functions require multiple steps to perform even simple functions. It can be hard to look down (and away from the road) and pick the one you want at a glance, especially at night…Some controls, like the oft-used quadrant of buttons that surround the primary controller knob, are a bit too small or awkwardly placed to use as intended.’

[…] A safety promotion like this is an interesting program for Audi, as their vehicles are tailored to appeal to driving enthusiasts, especially the high-performance S variants.

The pledge is part of a larger campaign for the 2012 A6, which makes 2,000 decisions per second to help the driver and has an array of safety features. Its thermal imaging camera with Night Vision Assist highlights pedestrians it detects in front of the car. Its Pre-Sense Plus safety system minimizes accidents by warning the driver and applying the brakes with increasing force in emergencies. Its head-up display projects navigation data as a hologram that hovers over the windshield.

“Drivers daily face an unintelligent road. Frustrations, distractions and deterrents bombard drivers as they go from place to place,” said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer of Audi of America. “Audi recognizes these conditions and is on a mission to find solutions that not only assist our drivers, but also help improve daily driving conditions across the nation.”

In addition to the safe driving pledge, Audi has a website called roadintel.com linking to seeclickfix.com that will send you email notices when there are accidents or other problems on the roads in your area, and lets you notify the site when you see problems like potholes.

Liza Barth also reports (at Consumer Reports.org),

Audi isn’t the only automaker with a safety campaign. Earlier in the summer BMW announced an anti-texting campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. We’ll see if other performance brands (or any other car companies) follow their lead.

It reminds us of cell-phone carriers jumping on the anti-texting bandwagon. No matter the industry, the best customer is a live one. And no company wants to see its brand, literally or figuratively, crash. Whatever the motivation, the increased focus on driving safety is good for motorists and all others who share the roads.

You can take the Audi safe driving pledge at www.driverspledge.com.

Here’s Audi’s commercial showing that the road is “not an intelligent place”:

Image by Audi of America, used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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