17:05 PM


Almost 54 percent of 2018 Christmas time traffic deaths in Michigan were alcohol-involved

DEARBORN, Mich., (December 23, 2019) — With the holiday season upon us, as many Michiganders are out celebrating and finalizing party plans, AAA-The Auto Club Group is issuing a statewide Holiday Reminder urging motorists to take extra precautions NOW to help make their celebrations safe. The end of the year Holiday Season can dangerous. According to 2018 statistics, almost 54 percent of all the traffic deaths during the Christmas time period (6pm Dec 21, 2018-11:59pm Dec 25, 2018) in Michigan were alcohol -involved.

And as the first recreational marijuana stores are opening in Michigan, we can possibly see an increase in the number of impaired drivers. According to a recent CDC report, in 2018 12 million American adults said they had driven under the influence of marijuana in the 12 months prior to the survey.

As the nation's foremost proponent of traffic safety, AAA has long been committed to effectively reducing the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving and our policies reflect that commitment. For the 2019 Holiday Season, AAA-The Auto Club Group has launched a digital Social Media campaign aimed at building awareness for members and reminding the public that it's illegal to drive while impaired.

"AAA - The Auto Club Group urges all motorists to avoid driving while impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug," said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group. "AAA's interest in the issue has less to do with the cause of the impairment, but rather the risk that's introduced when people get behind the wheel while impaired."

AAA-The Auto Club Group offers these Seven Steps to Safer Holiday Celebrations:

  1. Always drive safe and sober.
  2. Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver before the party starts.
  3. Call a cab or plan to stay the night if you have had too much to drink.
  4. Never ride in a car with someone who is intoxicated.
  5. Report impaired drivers to local law enforcement immediately.
  6. None for the road. One drink can be one too many. Learn more about the effects of alcohol and other drugs on driving and AAA's efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-involved traffic crash injuries and deaths.
  7. Be a responsible host.
  • Provide a variety of alcohol-free beverages. Click HERE to download a copy of the Great Pretenders party guide with tips on safe celebrations along with delicious appetizer and alcohol-free drink recipes. Free copies of the guide are also available at all AAA branches along with AAA general and entrepreneurial agent offices across Michigan.
  • Serve protein-rich, starchy foods.
  • Slow down the drinking rate by providing activities, party games, lively talk and good food.
  • Refrain from making alcohol the main focus of your party.
  • Make sure your guests don't feel pressured to drink alcohol.
  • Never serve alcohol to underage guests.
  • Refrain from having guests mix their own drinks.
  • Choose a reliable "bartender" to help keep track of size and number of drinks guests consume.
  • Remove alcoholic drinks toward the end of the party and surprise your guests with a coffee, tea and dessert buffet.
  • Watch for over-indulgers and make sure they have a safe ride home or stay the night.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to helping reduce and eliminate alcohol and other drug-related traffic deaths on Michigan roads and highways," said Woodland. "AAA urges motorists to enjoy the 2019 year-end holidays on a safe note by making a pledge to drive alcohol and drug-free. We can all do our part to insure a safe ride home for everyone this holiday season."

AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.