Can’t wait to celebrate the end of 2020? Be careful! Unfortunately, personal injuries on New Year’s Eve and Day are not uncommon.
Causes of personal injuries on New Year’s Eve can include:
While officials are not quite sure what to expect for New Year’s Eve 2020, they do know that alcohol consumption has increased by 14% over a year ago, including 17% for women, according to a report published in the JAMA Network Open.
Also, alcohol sales at the beginning of the pandemic in March rose 54%, according to a Nielsen survey, with health experts explaining that people are turning to alcohol to cope with a life-altering global crisis.
Personal Injuries on New Year’s Eve from Drunk Driving
According to SafeAuto.com, compared to an average night on the weekend, there are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor between Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 1 at 6 a.m. In just that 12-hour period, alcohol and drug related car crashes skyrocket.
As a result, the National Safety Council estimates that 384 people may die on U.S. roads this New Year’s Day holiday from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 to midnight on Sunday, Jan. 3.
In addition, nationwide, alcohol-impaired fatalities (involving blood-alcohol content of 0.08 g/dL or higher) in 2018 represented 29% of the total traffic fatalities. Also, curing the 2018 (latest available data) New Year’s Day holiday period, 39% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
New Year’s Eve Safe Driving Tips
Before heading out to New Year’s celebrations this year, drivingschool.net recommends the following tips:
- Designate a driver who will not drink on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.
- If drinking, spend the night with a friend or family member to avoid needing to drive home.
- Never allow someone who has been drinking to get in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. Take their keys.
- Don’t ride with someone else who has had even one or two drinks.
- It’s better to call a friend or family member for a ride, even if it’s embarrassing then to get behind the wheel and cause a serious accident.
- Call the police if they see an impaired driver out on the road.
- SoberRides.org provides a desktop and mobile site with options for how to get home safely.
- If you host a party, contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests, or have a trusted designated driver ready to take guests home if necessary. According to MedicalDaily.com, hosts could be held responsible if someone leaves their home and kills or hurts someone in an alcohol-related collision.
Other Personal Injuries on New Year’s Eve
Drunk driving is not the only source of personal injuries on New Year’s Eve. Other injuries can include:
- Pedestrian accidents. New Year’s Day is one of the most hazardous day of the year for pedestrians. Be sure to stay on paths and watch traffic. Cross at crosswalks and frequent well-lit areas.
- Projectile Champagne corks. To avoid a forceful cork explosion, chill Champagne to at least 45 degrees and place a towel over the top of the bottle when opening, pointing away from yourself and others.
- Fireworks. Keep fireworks away from children and pets. Sparklers burn at temperatures of 2,000 degrees! Keep a bucket of water handy, light fireworks one at a time and stay clear. Better yet, leave fireworks to the professionals.
- Anxious pets. Many pets have anxiety about fireworks and noise and can bite, run away, cause accidents or become lost. Keep them indoors and comfortable. Make sure fences and gates are secure, and that your pet has a current ID tag or microchip.
- Gunfire. Some cultures have a tradition of celebratory gunfire at midnight. It’s illegal, and falling bullets can be fatal. According to the American Safety Council, a young teen was killed in 1999 in Phoenix by a bullet that was fired into the air more than a mile away.
Personal Injuries on New Year’s Eve May Happen!
We all want to enjoy a safe and happy new year. We hope you don’t need to call us, but when accidents or injuries do occur, we offer free consultations and are here to help you understand your rights. From our family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe 2021. With nearly 60 years of experience in the community and five offices throughout Southwest Florida, we are your personal injury experts.