COVID Curfews Shift New Year’s Celebrations
AAA Reminds New Year’s Day Ranks among Deadliest Days on U.S. Roadways
Hamilton, NJ, December 30, 2020 – COVID-19 has changed the landscape of holiday celebrations in 2020 and New Year’s Eve is no exception. COVID curfews in New Jersey mandate the closure of restaurants and bars at 10 p.m., so instead of ringing in the New Year at a favorite night spot, New Jersey residents will find other ways to celebrate 2021’s arrival. AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding drivers and passengers alike, that no matter where the celebration occurs, New Year’s Day consistently ranks among the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 10,142 people died in alcohol impaired driving crashes in 2019,” said Tracy Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “With people celebrating the New Year and then getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking, January 1 is a particularly dangerous day on the roads. Even one death is far too many to be lost from a completely preventable crime.”
Sobering Drunk Driving Facts
- In 2019, 10,142 people were killed in preventable, drunk driving crashes. In fact, on average, more than 10,000 people die each year from drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. (NHTSA)
- In New Jersey, there were 129 alcohol impaired driving fatalities in 2019 an increase of 1.6% compared to 2018. (NHTSA)
- The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 384 people may die on U.S. roads this New Year’s Day holiday period.
- According to the NSC, nationwide, alcohol-impaired fatalities in 2018 represented 29% of the total traffic fatalities. During the 2018 (latest available data) New Year’s Day holiday period, 39% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
To strengthen efforts to protect the public against drunk drivers and reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, AAA Mid-Atlantic is offering important safety advice to New Year’s Eve partygoers:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.
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.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly two million members in New Jersey.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.
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