CINCINNATI, Ohio (December 30, 2020) – While the number of people gathering together to celebrate the holidays is lower this year due to COVID-19, the number of fatal crashes on Ohio’s roads is about 6% higher than last year*. That’s why AAA and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are urging Ohioans to make traffic safety a priority by driving sober this New Year’s Eve.
Last year, more than 10,500 alcohol-related crashes occurred on Ohio’s roads, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol Statistics. More of these alcohol-related crashes occurred in December than any other month. Overall, alcohol contributed to nearly 32% of Ohio’s 2019 fatal crashes.
“We take impaired driving seriously and remain dedicated to promoting safety on Ohio’s roadways,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “We need all motorists to commit to safer roads by planning ahead, designating a sober driver and ensuring that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.”
Nationally, drunk driving crashes kill an average of 30 people every day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s one person every 50 minutes.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do:
Drivers continue to recognize the dangers of drunk-driving, but many do it anyway, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index. The study found almost all drivers (94%) say driving after drinking is very or extremely dangerous. Yet, almost 10% admitted to having done so in the past 30 days.
“This data shows that a do as I say, not as I do mentality remains among the motoring public regarding drunk driving,” said Mike Belcuore, AAA Driving School Manager. “Regardless of what New Year’s celebrations look like this year, we urge all Ohioans to think of the implications before they get behind the wheel impaired.”
Preventing Drunk Driving:
Those that have been drinking should stay home or give someone else the keys. If you know you have to drive somewhere, one option is to celebrate with some fun non-alcoholic mocktails instead of alcoholic beverages.
To help Ohioans ring in the new year safely, AAA has pulled together some of its favorite mocktail recipes to enjoy this holiday season, including Ruby Sparkle Punch, Cranberry Cider and Mock Champagne. These and other recipes are available at AAA.com/Mocktails.
Remember, driving sober is an individual’s responsibility, and AAA urges drivers to plan ahead to ensure they get home safely.
*As of Dec. 14. Data from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. 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.