Between the music, the dancing and the parties it’s no mystery why New Year’s Eve is one of America’s favorite holidays. Unfortunately, not everything we associate with in the new year is positive. As you’re walking out the door to start the evening, chances are someone will tell you, “Be careful out there! This is one of the most dangerous times to drive.”
While the basic message of safety and responsibility is important, the facts aren’t exactly accurate.
Danger by the Numbers
With its reputation as a party holiday, it’s no wonder that people assume New Year’s to be the most dangerous time to be on the road. But as a matter of fact, when it comes to the most dangerous days for driving, New Year’s doesn’t even make the top five. That dubious honor goes to July 4th, a holiday that averages 161 driving deaths.
Perhaps surprisingly, the other most lethal days on the road aren’t even party holidays (or holidays at all). September 2nd, August 13th, July 15th and Veteran’s Day round out the top five, with New Year’s coming in 7th. However, that’s not to say that drivers have nothing to worry about. On average, 142 people die during New Year’s and that’s 142 too many. That’s not all – New Year’s has the second highest rate of DWI arrests behind only Thanksgiving, and the percentage of accidents that involve an elevated blood alcohol content are 10% higher on New Year’s than they are on July 4th.
Staying Safe this New Year’s Eve
Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining, and when it comes to the danger’s of driving during New Year’s, there are some excellent options available to help you avoid a DWI or, even worse, an accident.
- Choose a Designated Driver: Starting the evening with a designated driver is always your best bet. Even if you have to return a favor later, having peace of mind while you enjoy the holiday is well worth whatever they may ask.
- AAA Tipsy Tow: Even with the best of intentions, things happen. If you or your designated driver find yourselves skeptical about driving at the end of the night, AAA can help you get home in your own car. AAA members can call and request a free tow for up to ten miles. Even if you have to pay out of pocket for extra distance, whatever you pay will be far less than the cost of a DWI.
- Call in a Ride: Not a AAA member? No problem. If you know that you and all of your friends plan on drinking, your best bet is to take either an Uber or a cab both to and from your destination. While it may be pricy, leaving your car at home allows for a much more relaxed, fun and safe celebration.
When all Else Fails, Turn to the Pros
At Thiessen Law Firm, we understand that DWI arrests aren’t always fair and will fight to get you the help you deserve should the worst case scenario occur. If you or a loved one find yourself with more than just a hangover on New Year’s Day, don’t just wait it out or rely on overburdened public defenders. Call us immediately for a free consultation, and get your new year back on the right track.