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Know the Risks and Stay Safe This New Year’s
2020 is finally coming to a close and that means that New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. While New Year’s will probably look a little different for everyone this year, just like countless other events, there are still some risks that you need to be aware of surrounding the holiday.
Traditionally, celebrating New Year’s means fireworks, sparklers, staying up a little later than normal, and alcohol. While all of these can make for a festive night, they do bring some risks with them. Know what these risks are, how to avoid them, and have a safe New Year’s!
Driving Under The Influence
There are some scary statistics surrounding car accidents around the holidays. On average, there is a 34% increase in wrecks this time of year, along with a 34% increase in debilitating injuries and a 38% increase in fatalities. New Year’s Day alone has a staggering 95% increase in car wrecks and 42% of those wrecks involve a drunk driver.
One of the leading causes of accidents during the holiday season is drunk drivers. Most New Year’s celebrations will include alcohol in some shape or form. Statistics show that both men and women, on average, increase their alcoholic consumption on New Year’s Eve compared to the rest of the holiday season. Partygoers will toast their champagne at midnight, overindulge, and all-to-often decide to get behind the wheel after the end of a long night and drive home.
Perhaps the most tragic part of a drunk driving accident is that it can be avoided. Don’t let this be you this New Year’s. Have a plan to get home before going out and get home safe. Don’t ride with anyone who is not fit to drive.
If you find yourself stranded without a ride home, call a friend or ride service. With companies like Uber and Lyft, there is absolutely no excuse for drunk driving. If you aren’t going out, avoid the roads if at all possible. If you are going out to celebrate, be responsible, and get home safe.
It’s not enough to vow to drive sober for New Year’s, you also need to commit to driving focused. Shockingly, it can take a mere 3 seconds after you allow yourself to get distracted for an accident to happen. Look out for these common driving distractions, both on New Year’s and anytime you get behind the wheel:
- Cell Phones: Unsurprisingly, cell phones are one of the leading causes of distracted driving. Your alerts can wait; put down your phone while driving. Use Bluetooth or other hands-free technologies to help you get to where you need to go.
- Passengers: Your friends or family in the car with you can be a major source of distraction. Focus on the road as much as possible and avoid paying too close attention to any conversations going on in the car.
- Multitasking: Applying makeup, eating, or drinking are all common forms of multitasking that drivers recklessly undergo. This causes not only your mind to not be focused, but also your hands may be on something other than the wheel. Only use your hands for operating the vehicle and don’t multitask while driving.
Common New Year’s Injuries
Along with car accident-related injuries, there are some other common New Year’s injuries you should be aware of. Due to the increase in alcohol consumption noted above, there is typically a rise in alcohol poisoning. On average, 3% of men and 16.7% of women admit to blacking out from drinking on New Year’s. Be responsible when drinking and don’t overindulge.
Another common source of injuries is fireworks. Everyone loves a New Year’s Eve fireworks display, but people ignore the risks that come along with them. Sadly, some celebrators suffer burns or other injuries due to a firework show gone wrong.
In addition to setting off fireworks, some people see fit to fire off guns to ring in the New Year, sometimes in the streets. The projectiles, combined with any fireworks that may be set off, make for both an illegal and unsafe environment for you to be in. Participation in these activities not only risks personal injury but property damage as well.
There are also a lot of risks surrounding pedestrians and partygoers. Due to the winter season, it’s possible that there will be ice or snow on the ground, creating dangerous walking conditions. Some parties may be in spots with wet or slippery floors, or they may be in a building that isn’t up to code. These conditions only get more difficult to manage when a person has consumed too much alcohol. Overconsumption of alcohol leads to a decrease in your motor skills. When walking on the streets or at a party on New Year’s, be aware of your surroundings in addition to monitoring your alcohol intake.
How to Stay Safe This New Year’s
Now that you know some of the most common risks surrounding New Year’s, you need to know how to stay safe.
- Have a plan for getting home before you go out. If you’re going with a group, have a designated driver. If you plan on taking a ride service, make a reservation beforehand if possible. Make a plan and get home safe.
- Be extremely cautious when handling fireworks and sparklers. Only set off fireworks when everyone has cleared the area. Make sure you know where they are aimed and have a fire extinguisher ready in case of an emergency.
- Avoid dangerous or irresponsible parties. If you are at a party and feel that the celebration is getting out of hand, use your getting-home-safe plan, and head out. You can only control your actions; if the people around you begin to act irresponsibly, leave the risky situation altogether.
From all of us here at Wettermark Keith, we wish you a happy and safe New Year’s!
Unfortunately, no matter how cautious and safe you are, accidents can still happen. At Wettermark Keith, your case matters. If you or someone you know has been injured, and you think you may have a claim, contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to fight for you!