- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - With the summer driving season here and the Fourth of July weekend approaching, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to avoid distracted driving.

The motor club based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is launching a new safety campaign even as new research finds that distracted driving, especially using cellphones, can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that nearly 60 percent of crashes involving teenagers involve distractions while texting and using social media on phones while driving is on the rise among teen drivers.

The campaign includes putting messages urging people to disconnect and drive on gas pumps and ice chests in coastal towns in both Carolinas.

Organizers say the message could reach as many as 15 million motorists this summer.

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