AAA Warns Risk of Alcohol Related Crash Spikes Over New Year's

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Dec 10, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, the New Year's holiday and all the festivities it entails is around the corner. A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that this coming weekend may be one of the most dangerous weekends to be on the road.

The AAA study found that the average number of deaths from alcohol-related automobile accidents on New Year's Day was almost 150 percent higher than the average for the same day of the week during the holiday season. AAA's report indicates that, on average, 80 people are killed on each New Year's Day, almost two and half times as many as the same day of the week during other weeks near the New Year holiday.

Because this New Year's Day falls on a weekend, the risk of having an alcohol-related crash may be even higher. In 2009, 73 people died in alcohol-related crashes on New Year's Day. In 2005, the last time New Year's Day fell on a weekend, 98 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents.

Additionally, the AAA study found that while nearly 90 percent of drivers view drinking and driving as a serious problem, many drivers admit to have driven while intoxicated. The survey found that about 10 percent of drivers admit to having driven within the past 12 months with blood-alcohol levels close to or over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Approximately 5.5 percent of survey respondents admitted to drinking and driving more than once within the past 12 months.

"Drunk drivers put everyone on the road in danger, especially during the holiday season, which often combines travel with multiple opportunities to consume alcohol," says AAA Foundation President Peter Kissinger.

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, "One in Ten Drivers Admit They May Have Driven Drunk, Finds AAA Foundation Study"

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