Designate a Driver this New Year's

By AAA Kansas
December 30, 2014

Each year, about 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes, representing 31 percent of all motor vehicle deaths, and one every 51 minutes.  In Kansas, while the five year average of motor vehicle fatalities has dropped to 391, the average annual impaired driving fatalities is 140, or nearly 36 per cent of all Kansas motor vehicle fatalities.  For Kansas New Year’s holidays, according to KDOT statistics, of the 557 average annual holiday motor vehicle crashes for the most recent reported five years, 161 people have been injured and over 4 killed.

AAA members identify impaired driving as one of their top safety concerns.  “In Kansas, during the New Year’s holiday over the past reported five years in Kansas, nearly half (45 percent) of those killed in Kansas motor vehicle crashes have been alcohol-related,” said Jim Hanni, AAA spokesman. 

“We think it is a great time to call attention to these year-round important safety practices,” Hanni said:

If you plan to drink, don’t drive.  If you plan to drive, don’t drink.  Plan to designate a driver or arrange a ride in advance.  Designating a driver does NOT mean picking the person who has had the least amount to drink.Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.Don’t hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911Impairment is not limited to alcohol.  Drugs, even, over-the-counter or prescription, may have side effects that cause impairment and could put yourself and others at risk while driving. 


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