TOWSON, MD (December 27, 2019) – As Marylanders prepare for New Year’s celebrations, AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s Day, which consistently ranks among the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 10,511 people died in drunk driving crashes in 2018,” said Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “With people celebrating the New Year and then getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking, January 1 is a particularly dangerous day on the roads. Even one death is far too many to be lost from a completely preventable crime.”
Sobering Drunk Driving Facts
· In 2018, 10,511 people were killed in preventable, drunk driving crashes. In fact, on average, more than 10,000 people die each year from drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. (NHTSA)
· During the Christmas and New Year’s periods in 2018, there were 285 drunk driving-related fatalities nationally. (NHTSA)
To strengthen efforts to protect the public against drunk drivers and reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, AAA Mid-Atlantic is offering important safety advice to New Year’s Eve partygoers:
· Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins.
· Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
· Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
· Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
· Put numbers for local cab/ridesharing companies in your phone before heading out for the evening.
· Be a responsible host in reminding guests to stay safe and always offer alcohol-free beverages.
· If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
· Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.
“New Year’s Eve celebrations with plenty of alcohol are around the corner, so it’s important to plan ahead to avoid having yourself or one of your guests become a tragic holiday statistic due to driving while impaired,” said Ali.
Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.