Keep the fireworks in the sky and off the road this Fourth
July 4 ranks as deadliest day for drivers
Phoenix, June 29, 2012. For many, Fourth of July festivities will include gatherings where alcohol will be served. Because the upcoming holiday ranks as the deadliest day on the road, AAA is encouraging Arizonans to be responsible and will offer its Tipsy Tow service.
“Fourth of July frivolity that involves alcohol can become treacherous when driving is involved,” said
Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “If you plan to drink, make arrangements to avoid driving. Let’s make sure the only red, blue and white lights you see are up above and not in your rear-view mirror.”
A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analysis of national crash data revealed that more people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes on July 4 than any other day of the year. The analysis also showed that the Fourth of July is the second-deadliest day for drunk driving, with deaths caused by driving under the influence accounting for 43 percent of all road fatalities in Arizona for that day.
AAA Tips for a Safe Fourth of July
Be a responsible host:
· Offer food and non-alcoholic beverages.
· Make sure all of your guests have a designated driver.
· Keep the numbers for local cab companies, as well as AAA’s Tipsy Tow handy.
· Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
Be a responsible partygoer:
· If you plan to drive, don’t drink.
· If you plan to drink, select a designated driver and give them your car keys. If your ride falls through, call a cab, or use AAA’s Tipsy Tow as a transportation alternative.
· Buckle up — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
Tipsy Tow service will go from 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, to 6 a.m. Wednesday, July 4. Drivers, passengers, party hosts, bartenders and/or restaurant managers in need of a Tipsy Tow can call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357). They will simply need to state that they need a Tipsy Tow and provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.
Tipsy Tow provides a one-way ride for the driver, one passenger and their vehicle at no cost for up to 10 miles. Services will not be provided to motorists requesting a tow to another drinking establishment or to a destination other than their home. Other services that will not be provided include: requests for a vehicle start, flat tire change and/or fuel delivery. For trips longer than 10 miles, motorists can expect to be charged the towing company’s standard rate.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one alcohol-impaired death occurs every 45 minutes across the country, with alcohol-impaired drivers contributing to one out of every three traffic deaths. As a result, AAA is challenging drivers to pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
More than 27,000 DUI arrests were made in Arizona in 2011, according to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost a motorist more than $10,000 in fines, penalties, legal fees and increased insurance costs.
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.