Cincinnati, OH (December 20, 2018) – The holiday season is here, a time of year for parties and gatherings with friends, family and coworkers. Often these festivities include alcohol, resulting in some partygoers finding themselves impaired with no safe ride home.
AAA is urging drivers not to make the holiday season deadly on our roads by driving while impaired.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 885 people nationwide lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December in 2017. From 2013 to 2017, there were 4,110 people killed across the country in December crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL).
In the first 11 months of 2018, there were 288 OVI-related fatal crashes resulting in the deaths of 311 people, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
In addition, data shows that motorists driving while impaired (under the influence of medications, drugs and alcohol) caused more than 11,000 crashes in 2017 resulting in 246 fatalities and 5,124 injuries on Ohio roads.
December has been designated National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, to help bring attention to the dangers of not only drunk driving but drugged driving as well, which has become a growing risk on our nation’s roadways. Drivers need to remember that alcohol and illicit drugs as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications could impair their ability to drive safely.
“AAA is sending this timely reminder to not get behind the wheel of a car if you are under the influence,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “As millions prepare to travel and celebrate with their loved ones, we urge everyone to do their part to prevent needless tragedies this holiday season on our roads.”
AAA offers the following tips to prevent impaired driving this holiday season:
- 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 have 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.
- Use public transportation, Uber, Lyft, or call a taxi. 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.
- Walking impaired can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.
- If you see someone driving that you suspect is impaired, ask a passenger to call #677, 911 or pull over to a safe spot on the side of the road to make the call.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com