AAA Offers Safe Rides Home For New Year’s Eve

By McCarton Ackerman 12/31/14

New Year’s Eve is one of the most deadliest holidays when it comes to drunk-driving fatalities, but AAA is stepping up to help ensure you stay safe.

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An analysis conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that New Year’s Day is “the worst day of the year for fatal crashes involving impaired drivers. Half of all fatal crashes include a driver whose blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. During the 2009 New Year’s holiday, 40% of the 468 fatalities that day involved a drunk driver.

Jenny Robinson with AAA also said her company reported similar statistics. “In Pennsylvania (for New Year’s Eve in 2011), 41% of holiday weekend traffic deaths were related to alcohol use, compared to a 33% share of the total traffic deaths for the full year,” she said. “When we looked at the national DUI statistics, we found that the New Year’s holiday consistently ranks as the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities.”

Cities across the globe have taken steps to help prevent these tragedies from occurring. In Sydney, Australia, the city expanded its annual booze-free zones to include parks, harbor viewing areas and entire streets starting in 2011. A commander for the city’s local ambulance service reported an 83% reduction in ambulance runs involving alcohol abuse or intoxication as a result of the change, while St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney also reported a steep drop in alcohol-related emergency visits.

While not getting behind the wheel either after drinking, or with someone who has, seems like an obvious step to take, AAA is making it easier to do so this holiday season. The company will offer safe rides home for anyone under the influence, while many members and nonmembers in certain areas of the United States will be eligible to ride home with them for free. A trucker will meet you at your location to take both you and your vehicle home safely.

To find out more information about the program, call 1-800-AAA-Help (222-4357) or click here to find out the AAA clubs across the country who will offer this program.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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