Millions of people welcome the New Year with parties where alcohol plays a major role. Even if you don’t imbibe, you should know that you’re at an increased risk of being injured, becoming a statistic, or having your vehicle damaged or stolen during New Year’s celebrations.
Despite numerous informational campaigns, you’re likely to encounter someone behind the wheel of a car that’s had too much to drink. They have the potential to cause a collision, run off the road causing property damage, and hit pedestrians. Statistics indicate that fatalities increase by 11.6 percent over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
New Year’s ranks 7th as the deadliest holiday. Slip, trip and fall accidents also increase.
According to the National Crime Information Center, there are more vehicles stolen on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day than any other days of the year. Thieves look for cars that are left alone or unattended when inebriated motorists aren’t able to drive home on their own.
There are a number of precautions you can take to preserve your safety and that of others during New Year’s festivities. Plan early so you’re not caught unawares.
- Leave the car at home and use a rideshare service to and from your destination.
- Don’t let family and friends drink and drive.
- Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before your party ends.
- Be sure to serve plenty of food to help counteract the effects of alcohol.
- Place pets in a quiet room away from activities to avoid bites and injuries to pets. Consult with your veterinarian about pets that get particularly anxious.
- If you walk to a party, stay on the sidewalk.
- Arrange for childcare for younger children and set a reasonable curfew for older youngsters if they go out.
- Don’t leave your vehicle in a parking lot overnight. If you must, make sure it’s locked and you get it early the next morning.