There are only a few days remaining in 2012 and as the year winds down, more people are expected on the road going from one party to another. AAA, a self-described motoring and leisure travel organization, ranks New Year’s Day as the deadliest day of the year for alcohol-related fatalities. In an attempt to cut into the number of deaths that occur on New Year’s Day, AAA has come out and announced its support for ignition interlocks on vehicles driven by those convicted of driving under the influence. On top of that, AAA has come up with seven pieces of advice for driver’s to keep safe when on the road New Year’s Eve and the following day as well.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a survey earlier this year dubbed the Traffic Safety Culture Index and found that more than nine in 10 drivers consider drinking and driving a grave error of judgment. Almost every driver (97 percent) surveyed said it was unacceptable to drive when impaired by alcohol. Information collected during the same survey found that eight out of 10 drivers think every person convicted of a DUI should require an ignition interlock. AAA’s decision to support ignition interlock devices (IIDs) comes after the National Transportation Safety Board announced its decision to support a law that would require every single person convicted of a DUI to use an IID.
“AAA is not alone in its concern about impaired driving or strong support for tough policies for convicted drunk drivers,” said AAA President and CEO Robert Darblenet in a statement released by the organization.
Since support for this law is only in its infant stages and isn’t even signed into legislation yet, AAA has offered up other ways for drivers out on New Year’s Eve and the following day to keep safe. Here are seven ways to keep yourself and loved ones safe on December 31 and January 1:
- 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 for a friend in need
- 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)
It’s also helpful to remember that some over-the-counter prescription medications as well as other illegal substances can weaken one’s ability to drive. For more information on how to keep safe while on the road next week, visit PreventDUI.AAA.com.