Tips for Staying Safe this New Year’s Eve from Aronfeld Trial Lawyers
As many prepare for New Year’s celebrations, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers would like to remind drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads. The New Year’s holiday consistently ranks among the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 13,384 people died in drunk driving crashes in 2021. With many people celebrating the New Year and then getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking, January 1, 2024 is a particularly dangerous day to be on the roads. Even one death is too many to be lost from a completely preventable crime. Recent NHTSA data shows December drunk driving deaths are the highest in almost 15 years. There were 1,013 lives lost in drunk driving crashes in December 2021. Between 2017-2021, 4,561 people were killed in December drunk driving crashes.
New Year’s Eve is the most dangerous time to be on the road for anyone driving or even walking because nearly half of all fatal New Year’s Day car crashes involve drunk drivers, according to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control. The combination of drinking and driving and late-night celebrations make New Year’s Eve the worst day of the year for deadly crashes involving drunk drivers. Compared to an average Saturday night, the 12-hour window between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 has 71% more crashes where alcohol or drugs are listed as a contributing factor. And it is not much safer for pedestrians; as New Year’s Eve is also the deadliest day to simply cross the street.
When the clock strikes midnight, and the New Year’s Eve celebrations end, millions of drivers will take to the roads to make their way home. The sheer number of travelers plus the inevitability of impaired drivers makes for a dangerous evening on the roads and one of the deadliest days for drunk driving-related crashes.
More than 50% of accidents on New Year’s Day involve high blood alcohol concentration. Officers throughout the country will be on high alert, making every effort to keep roads safer for travelers heading to or from family visits. The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign not only spreads the message of safe driving during the season but also comes with a national crackdown on drunk driving enforcement.
At Aronfeld Trial Lawyers, we want you to ring in the New Year safely. We have some important tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this New Year’s Eve.
- Wear Your Seatbelt. One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Every year, 15,000 lives are saved by wearing a seat belt, according to NHTSA.
- Properly secure your children. Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat. Age and size appropriate car seats reduce serious and fatal injuries to children by half.
- Obey speed limits. Speeding is 100% preventable and is a contributing factor in many fatal car accidents.
- Drive distraction free. Distractions not only involve texting and driving, but anything that takes your focus off the road for even a second (i.e. – cell phone use, adjusting the radio or GPS device, eating and drinking, personal grooming, talking to passengers, tending to small children or pets, reading, watching a video, etc.)
- Plan ahead. Plan your travel options ahead of time, arranging for a designated driver, a hotel stay, shuttle/limo service, public transportation and extra “Plan B” options before your night out.
- Sober Ride Programs. Consider local Sober Ride programs and have their information handy for yourself or friends.
- Public Transportation, Uber & Lyft. Use public transportation, ride-sharing services, or cabs to and from your destination so you can avoid leaving your car in a strange place overnight.
- Secure your vehicle. If you must leave your car, park in a populated, well-lit area. Roll up windows, lock all doors and ensure all valuables are left at home or secured out of sight.
- Bring only what you need with you – including identification, money and one credit card. Leave any department store cards or unneeded valuables at home.
- Do not drink and drive. According to statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, 781 individuals in the U.S. were killed due to drunk driving over the holidays. Even just one or two drinks can be what it takes to cause a driver to lose the ability to react appropriately while driving. A small amount of alcohol can impair important skills that are needed to drive safely, including the ability to react quickly, unobstructed vision, concentration, and judgment. Driving under the influence does not just involve alcohol use. Prescription drug use behind the wheel can also result in a DUI. Read the warning labels on your prescriptions and always have a designated driver in place.
There are a number of creative options besides calling a taxi or your mother to transport you home in most cities, including volunteers that provide the service for free. But if you are unable for any reason to obtain transportation home, simply call 911 and let them know your situation. It is far better than having them show up after an accident when it might be too late to save you or someone else. Miami has a number of free shuttles available for South Beach party goers.
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party this year? Here are some important tips to keep you and your party guests safe while ringing in the 2024 New Year!
- Provide plenty of food and snacks so guests are not drinking on an empty stomach.
- Make sure smoke alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
- Research numbers for local hospitals and authorities and have them ready in case of an accident.
- Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests, or have a trusted designated driver ready to take guests home if necessary.
- Offer non-alcoholic drink options and have plenty of water available.
- Use different colored cups for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Discard unattended cups so kids and pets do not consume them.
- Stop serving alcohol several hours before the party ends (and stick to it!).
- Do not provide alcohol to minors. Keep an eye on all drinks and supplies.
- Provide guests with a place to stay overnight should they need to. Even if accommodation is less than ideal, they will be safe!
INVOLVED IN A DRUNK DRIVING RELATED ACCIDENT ON NEW YEAR’S EVE? HELP IS HERE.
Our firm regularly represents victims involved in drunk driving accidents and clients who have been injured due to the poor decision-making of an intoxicated driver who chooses to get behind the wheel. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, it is very important to consult with an experienced Miami auto accident attorney immediately. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws. Since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families. Contact us today and Speak with an experienced attorney toll-free +1-888-742-0372, local +1-305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel, or hospital.
SOURCE: New Year’s Eve Safety Tips – American Safety Council