New Year’s Eve among deadliest days on U.S. roadways

AAA-LogoAs Americans 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), 10,076 people died in drunk driving crashes in 2013, which although is a decline of 2.5% from the number of persons killed (10,336) in 2012, is still far too many lives lost from a completely preventable crime,” stated Martha Mitchell Meade, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  In Virginia, The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reported 253 drunk driving deaths in 2013, making up 34% of traffic deaths in the Commonwealth, 253 deaths that were completely unnecessary.

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.
  • Call a taxi.
  • 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).
  • Download NHTSA’s new SaferRide app which will allow users to call a taxi or a friend and identify their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
  • Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.

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.