Caution Ahead: New Year’s Ranks as Deadliest Day on U.S. Roads

AURORA, IL, (December 27, 2012) – As Americans prepare for holiday celebrations, AAA reminds drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s Day, which consistently ranks as the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities. To strengthen efforts to protect the public against drunk drivers and reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, AAA is announcing its support of ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders, and offers important safety advice to partygoers.
 
AAA is not alone in its concern about impaired driving or strong support for tough policies for convicted drunk drivers. According to the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than nine in 10 drivers consider it a serious threat to their personal safety when others drink and drive, and nearly all (97 percent) surveyed find it unacceptable for a driver to get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink.  To prevent these dangers, nearly eight in 10 Americans support requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders, even if it’s their first conviction.
 
Research has identified ignition interlock devices (IIDs) as a proven way to save lives. AAA’s recommendation to require the use of IIDs for all convicted offenders is grounded in research, which shows that IIDs are more effective than other methods at reducing re-arrest among convicted drunk drivers and keeping impaired drivers off the road. 
 
AAA is reaching out to motorists on the heels of a recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) decision to support laws requiring IID use for all first-time DUI offenders—one of several new recommendations issued to help curb alcohol-related traffic injury and death.  “I commend AAA for stepping up for safety,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “Technologies, such as ignition interlocks, will reduce alcohol-related crashes on our nation's roadways.  We look forward to working alongside AAA and its clubs to eliminate the nation’s top killer on our roadways – impaired driving.”
 
Preventing drinking and driving is a shared responsibility to save lives. While AAA advocates expanding IID use to all persons convicted of drunk driving, New Year’s Eve partygoers can do their part by heeding the following advice:
 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.