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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • This New Year's Eve, Plan Ahead for Safety's Sake

  • This New Year's Eve, AAA Mid-Atlantic wants you to start 2014 off right by planning ahead for a safe ride home. As Americans travel to holiday celebrations, AAA reminds drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads.
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  • This New Year's Eve, AAA Mid-Atlantic wants you to start 2014 off right by planning ahead for a safe ride home. As Americans travel to holiday celebrations, AAA reminds drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads.
    "The New Year's Eve holiday is a time when people tend to overindulge," says Jenny Robinson, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "Be a responsible, safe partygoer. If you plan to drink, don't drive. Arrange for a designated driver, and save the numbers for taxi services in your phone, so you'll have them ready if needed."
    Don't believe everything you see on the Internet
    While some AAA clubs offer Tow-to-Go or Tipsy Tow service, it's important to know that some incorrect information is being shared on social media. These services are NOT available through AAA Mid-Atlantic (even Snopes confirms this). However, AAA Mid-Atlantic roadside assistance dispatch centers are prepared to help callers locate taxicab services if requested. Please check this link for a list of AAA clubs currently offering programs. And for accurate social media information about AAA Mid-Atlantic, please like the Facebook page.
    Despite all the warnings about drinking and driving, during last year's holiday season alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 830 lives were lost in drunk driving crashes. Through Jan. 1, 2014, state and local law enforcement will conduct their "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign to crack down on drunk drivers.
    During all of 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent, taking 10,322 lives – up from 9,865 in 2011. The majority of those crashes involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher – nearly double the legal limit.
    In Pennsylvania last year (2012), there were 402 alcohol-related fatalities and 50,327 arrests for driving under the influence.
    According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, while 96 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable, 20 percent of all licensed drivers who drink at least occasionally reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year. "Tragically, these results show that the attitudes and behaviors of drinking and driving just don't add up," says Robinson.
    AAA Tips for New Year's Eve
    Be a responsible host:
    · Offer food and non-alcoholic beverages.
    · Make sure all of your guests have a designated driver.
    · Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy.
    · Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired. Help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
    Be a responsible partygoer:
    · Plan a safe way home before the party begins. Designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
    Page 2 of 2 - · If you plan to drink, don't drive.
    · If you've been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
    · Buckle up — it's your best defense against impaired drivers.
    AAA Mid-Atlantic works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result in such crashes.
    Motorists can obtain excellent resources such as impaired driving facts and expert advice by visiting www.PreventDUI.AAA.com. Additionally, AAA urges online visitors to do their part to save lives by taking the pledge to drive sober.
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