New Year’s Eve Driving Safety Tips
New Year’s Eve should be a time for celebration, as we say goodbye to the last 365 days and hello to a new year and a clean slate. Unfortunately, the good times can come to a screeching halt, literally, due to driving under the influence. In fact, alcohol and drug-related car crashes skyrocket between the 12-hour period between December 31 at 6pm and January 1 at 6am, increasing more than 70% when compared to an average weekend night. Armed with this knowledge, here are some driving safety tips you should employ to ensure everyone makes it into the new year safely.
8 Tips for a Safe New Year’s Eve
1. Use a Designated Driver
If you opt to go out for the evening, be sure you have a designated driver. Of course, unless there’s a non-drinker in your party, it can be difficult to get someone to take on this role, especially on a party night like New Year’s Eve. However, there are perks to being the designated driver for those who don’t care to imbibe…many bars and restaurants that offer designated drivers exclusive rewards, discounts, and special non-alcoholic drinks at no cost.
2. Use Ride-Sharing Services
Taxis can be hard to come by on a busy night like New Year’s Eve, but there’s sure to be plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers on the road looking to make some extra cash. While surge pricing (higher fares) is common with these services on holidays due to heightened demand, the extra expense is far worth it to keep yourself and others on the road safe.
3. Make Arrangements to Spend the Night
Attending a party at a friend’s house? If it won’t be too much of an imposition, you might ask in advance if you can stay the night. If you’re hosting, you may also consider giving guests the option to sleep over as well. You might also consider collecting guests’ car keys and returning them only if they are sober or have arranged for a ride. After all, If someone leaves your home and drives under the influence, you may be liable and held responsible if that driver hurts or kills someone in a collision.
4. Use a Tow-To-Go Service
In Florida and a handful of other states (GA, IA, MI, ND, NE, TN, WI, and IN), AAA offers a Tow-To-Go service that’s free for members and non-members. The service will tow your vehicle home or someplace safe within 10 miles. The tow truck can hold up to two passengers. It’s important to note that it can take upwards of an hour to get service, which is available December 25-January 1, by calling (855) 2-TOW-2-GO.
5. Choose a Bar or Club That Will Pay for Your Cab
Concerned about the expense of a cab or ride-share service? Many bars and clubs will call you a cab and pay for your ride home (this gets them off the hook for any liability should you leave their establishment drunk and get into an accident). Call in advance before you make your plans to see if they offer this service.
6. Make a Plan with Your Kids
Have teenagers that are old enough to drive heading out for the night? Teens tend to think they’re invincible, so be sure to talk with them about the dangers of driving under the influence and the harm it could have on their future. There are plenty of parent/child driving contracts available online that can also help to begin a discussion on safe driving.
7. Breathalyze Yourself
Not sure if you’re safe to take the wheel? You can purchase your own compact breathalyzer that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) by turning your smartphone into a breathalyzer. This way, if you’re over the legal limit of .08, you’ll know whether to call for a ride or wait until your BAC comes down.
8. Call the Police If You Spot an Impaired Driver
You may think it’s none of your business, but if you spot an impaired driver, call the police so they can get that person off the road. They’re apt to cause an accident, and you never know, the person they hit could be a loved one. Check out our blog How to Spot an Impaired Driver to learn more.
Involved in a New Year’s Eve Automobile Accident?
No matter how safe you are when it comes to holiday driving, there are always going to be others on the road who don’t take the proper precautions and get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving DUI, give us a call to speak directly with one of our drunk driving accident lawyers. Our mission at Lowman Law Firm is to get you the compensation you deserve—and we don’t get paid unless you do.
Here’s to a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!