How to Safely Ring in the New Year: Reducing Drunk Driver Fatalities

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Dec 30, 2014 in Car Accident News

New Year's Eve is a time for great celebration, with a sense of a fresh start and leaving any negativity from last year behind. Unfortunately for all too many people, the New Year never comes. Each year well over 10,000 people die in drunk driving accidents, with statistics hovering at around 500 on New Year's Eve. Here are some tips for keeping your celebration safe, and avoiding DUI related fatalities. For Parties If you are having a gathering to celebrate the holiday, always have non-alcoholic options available for your guests. Water, soda, juice, non-alcoholic mulled cider or eggnog, coffee and tea are all great options. Never pressure people to drink intoxicating beverages. Keep lots of food available; eating helps to improve the body's absorption of alcohol. Have a last call an hour or two before the party ends. This will give people some time to sober up. Keep an eye on your guests and be willing to take the keys if someone appears intoxicated. Arrange a cab or other transportation if necessary.

For Partiers

The responsibility lies with each individual for their own safety. Always try to have a designated driver for any group of guests to a party. That person should avoid alcohol altogether. If you feel tipsy, or someone else points out that you seem anything but sober, try to get a ride with a friend or call a cab. Help the host take responsibility by being willing to give up your keys. Never allow a friend to get behind the wheel if they are drunk, and never let a friend get into a car with a drunk driver. In their intoxicated state, they may get angry with you; they will thank you when they wake up the next day.

Watching for DUI

When driving, keep your eyes open for intoxicated drivers. Here are some factors to watch for: · Overly broad turns · Weaving and swerving · Riding the center line, or straddling the line · Near misses with other drivers or objects · Driving very slow or very fast · Erratic braking and stop-and-go driving · Failure to use headlights or signals · Sudden or illegal turns Keeping your eyes open for erratic driving patterns in general can be an indicator of someone whose judgment is too impaired to drive. If you notice any of these signs, you should give the driver a wide berth. If you can do so safely and legally, get around them. As soon as it is safe to do so, stop and call 9-1-1. This will keep you and other drivers safe. Following a few common-sense tips to recognize and avoid intoxication can help you and yours have a happy New Year. If you have been injured by a drunk driver and need representation, drop us a line.