Drinking and driving is the most troubling factor in roadway accidents around the New Year’s holiday. Traditionally, this is a holiday has been marked by champagne toasts and all-night open bar event specials. Weather conditions, depending on where you live, at this time of year can be hazardous. Snow, ice, and freezing rain make roads dangerous for even the safest of drivers. After midnight, New Year’s celebrations end…and millions take to roads and public transportation to make their way home. The combination of sheer number of travelers plus the inevitability of irresponsibly impaired drivers makes for a dangerous night on the roadways and one of the deadliest days for drunk driving in our nation. Over 50% of accidents on New Year’s Day involve high blood alcohol concentration. Adding bad weather conditions in some areas just adds to the negative factors.
If you are traveling and celebrating New Year’s Eve away from your home or will be traveling at all, here are some ideas to keep you safe. Even if you’re staying home take keys from friends or family that you are aware are too impaired to drive. Staying overnight at the home you're at is a much better choice than overnight in jail or possibly harming yourself, your passengers, other drivers on the road, or any pedestrians that might be walking home from a neighbor’s house. Keep these things in mind. Here are some things to think about.
Plan your travel options ahead of time, arranging for a designated driver, a hotel stay, shuttle/limo service, public transportation and extra “Plan B” options before your night out. Planning ahead is a must when you’re planning to be under the influence.
Consider DUI blocks. These checks are ramped up at holidays. Don’t take the chance losing your driving privileges over one night bring over-confident you’re ok to drive. Wear your seatbelt. It’s something we might not like but may be a life saver or save you for permanent bodily injury because you were not wearing it. Most cars today warn you until you “click it”.
Consider local Sober Ride programs and have their information handy for yourself or friends.
Use public transportation, Uber, or local cabs to and from your destination so you can avoid leaving your car in a strange place overnight.
If you must leave your car, park in a populated, well-lit area. Roll up windows, lock all doors and ensure all valuables are left at home or secured out of sight. Bring only what you need with you – including identification, money and one credit card.
If you live in an area that typically sees winter weather around the holidays, pay special attention to the weather reports on New Year’s Eve. If the forecast calls for a blizzard, consider cancelling your party plans and hosting a dinner and game night in your home for family and neighbors instead.
If you are hosting the party at the New Year’s Eve, offer a room to your friends/relatives. Make every possible effort to ensure their safety to avoid accidents. Even if they insist going back, arrange cab for them. Keep non-alcoholic drinks and plenty of snacks to avoid getting your guests drunk.
Educate and be a role model: If your kids are old enough to drive, make them understand about the dangers usually associated with driving on that day.
Lastly if you end up in an accident for any reason be sure to keep your trusting local auto body shop’s information in your glove box. Most auto body shops offer tow, rental, and insurance claims assistance in your time of need.
Be safe on the roadways during the New Year’s Eve.
If you’re looking for a local family-owned auto body shop in Sandy, Utah or if you're seeking an accurate and honest collision repair estimate visit A.U.T.O. Collision in Sandy, Utah or give us a call at 801.568.0305! Our I-CAR® trained and certified technicians are ready to help our customers in their time of need.
For helpful advice or to learn more about our collision services, contact A.U.T.O. Collision at 801.568.0305 or visit the shop at 215 West 9210 South, Sandy, Utah 84070. We are here to serve you Monday – Friday, 8am – 5:30pm.