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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month


The month of December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, says AAA. The holiday season is in full swing and that means many will be attending holiday parties. That being said, it is important to make sure that those who go out to drink have a plan in place on how to get home safely.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 39 minutes. In 2021, 13,382 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes – up 14% from 2020. Those deaths were all preventable.

AAA says drug-impaired driving is also a major concern for traffic safety. Research by AAA shows that marijuana can impair drivers in a multitude of ways and that marijuana use is becoming more commonplace with the legalization of recreational marijuana in 24 states. While marijuana usage may be legalized, it remains illegal to use the drug and drive a vehicle.

“Alcohol, marijuana, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications all lead to impairment and create dangerous, life- threatening situations on our roadways when users get behind the wheel,” said Anthony B. Spada, AAA Western and Central New York President and CEO. “AAA’s message to drivers: you cannot drive safely while you are impaired. Please plan ahead this holiday season to avoid tragedies and celebrate safely.”

Those who use alcohol and/or marijuana are significantly more likely to speed, text, intentionally run red lights, and drive aggressively than those who don’t, data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows.

Tips for traffic safety and impaired free driving include: having a designated driver picked before going out, using a rideshare or taxi, and staying with a friend or book a nearby hotel room you can walk to.

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