Every New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there’s a spike in fatalities related to drunk driving. Between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. the following morning, there’s a 71% increase in the number of drunk or drugged driving incidents. New Year’s Day (anytime after midnight on Jan. 1) saw the highest number of alcohol-related deaths of any day of the year in studies from 2008-2012.
So it pays to be cautious if you plan to be out celebrating as 2020 arrives. Here are some of the best ways to protect yourself and your friends and family from harm:
- Host your party at a hotel so you and your guests can make use of the overnight accommodations. That way, nobody has to be on the road after having a few drinks — and nobody has to put themselves at risk of encountering a drunk driver on their way home.
- Celebrate at a bar within walking distance. If you live close enough to a local watering hole, take your buddies there to count down the New Year. Just remember to stay out of the streets and safely out of the way of traffic as you head home.
- Put Uber and Lyft on your phone and your friends’ phones in advance. Having the apps downloaded and ready to go can make it much easier to choose safety and call for a ride instead of giving in to the temptation of driving while inebriated or buzzed.
- Volunteer to be the designated driver for your crew. That at least puts you in command of the situation. You know enough to watch the road, look for erratic drivers and keep an assured clear distance from other cars.
Despite your best precautions, you may still end up being hit by a drunk driver. If you or someone you love suffers a serious injury as a result, you should speak with an experienced injury law attorney about your rights.