While Independence Day celebrations are traditionally known for outdoor events, fireworks and family get-togethers, the iconic U.S. holiday has become notorious for crashes and fatalities on the road.
In 2016, 188 people were killed in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher during the Independence Day holiday. This represents a 28 percent increase from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
"Celebrating our country's independence is a wonderful tradition across our nation, but it's important to remain responsible and safe throughout the holiday," said Amy Stracke, managing director of traffic safety advocacy for AAA - The Auto Club Group and executive director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation. "Everyone deserves to get home safely."
To encourage those celebrating the holiday from getting behind the wheel impaired, AAA, its Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation and Budweiser are offering their free Tow to Go program. AAA predicts a record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day, the highest number since AAA started its tracking 18 years ago.
"We encourage everyone who's celebrating to plan ahead, make arrangements for safe transportation and avoid driving impaired at all costs," said Megan Cooper, Tennessee Public Affairs Specialist, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "A good way to keep the Tow to Go number handy is to program it into your phone in advance so you don't have to search for it later."
For anyone who needs a safe ride home, Tow to Go is available from Tuesday, July 3, until 6 a.m. on Thursday, July 5. Tow to Go is available by calling (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.
The following guidelines apply to the Tow to Go program:
• North Dakota
• Indiana (Fort Wayne and South Bend only)
• Confidential local ride to a safe location within 10 miles
• The AAA tow truck takes the vehicle and the driver home
• Free and available to AAA members and non-members
• Tow to Go may not be available in rural areas or during severe weather conditions
• Visit AAA.com/TowtoGo for dates and availability throughout 2018
If you are hosting a party, please do so responsibly. Check out the Great Pretenders Party Guide from the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation to learn more.
Tow to Go, now in its 20th year, has safely removed more than 25,000 impaired drivers from roads across the Southeast and the Midwest since 1998. Tow to Go is designed to prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel and risking the lives of other motorists by providing them a free, confidential ride home or somewhere safe within 10 miles.
"The Tow to Go program is an effective way to promote the use of designated drivers and help prevent impaired driving," said Katja Zastrow, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Anheuser-Busch. "We are proud to partner with AAA and their roadside assistance drivers to help keep our roads safe."
Anheuser-Busch and its employees build on a legacy of corporate social responsibility by focusing on three key areas: promoting alcohol responsibility, preserving and protecting the environment and supporting local communities. In the past three decades, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have invested more than $1 billion in preventing drunk driving and underage drinking and promoting responsible retailing and advertising. Anheuser-Busch reduced total water use at its breweries by nearly 50 percent over the last 10 years. The company has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. Each year Anheuser-Busch and its Foundation invest approximately $20 million in donations to charitable organizations that help in local communities. The company also has provided over 76 million cans of emergency drinking water to people impacted by natural and other disasters since 1988. Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch, the leading American brewer, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
About Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation
Established by AAA - The Auto Club Group in 2010, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACGTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to producing a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in the communities targeted by its efforts. ACGTSF provides programs, education and outreach to increase public awareness about the importance of traffic safety and improve driving behavior. ACGTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACGTSF's purpose. Visit www.AAA.com/foundation for more information.
About The Auto Club Group
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 9.4 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 58 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.