New Year’s Eve is one of the most festive days of the year across the globe – just check out this infographic! For many, New Year’s Eve is one last holiday hoorah before it’s time to set those New Year’s Resolutions and get back to work.
But New Year’s isn’t all fun and games. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, New Year’s Day is the second most deadly day of the year for drivers. In fact, during the Christmas holiday, an average of 45 fatalities involving alcohol-impaired drivers occur each day and this number increases to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday.
As we wrap up National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, make plans to get home safely on New Year’s Eve. Here are some tools you can use whether you will be a passenger, designated driver or the host of a New Year’s Eve bash.
Now is the time to talk with the group you’ll be traveling with and put a plan in place. A few key questions to ask are:
- Will someone volunteer as designated driver?
- Will you use a transportation service?
- If the party is at a friend’s place, is there room to stay the night?
Keep in mind that on holidays, transportation services like taxis, Uber and Lyft have surged rates due to the high volume of requests. If you plan to use one of these services, be aware that your ride might be costly (but worth it).
If your group has trouble choosing a designated driver, do some research and see if there are designated driver services in your area. You can also check out the National Directory of Designated Driver Services (NDDDS) for a full list of designated driver services nearby. In larger cities, alcoholic beverage companies often sponsor these programs and even provide free or discounted rates on holidays.
If you volunteer to be the designated driver of your group, set some ground rules ahead of time. You should set expectations for your group and they should do the same for you.
Before New Year’s Eve rolls around, you should have your tires and brakes checked. While you will act responsibly and drive sober, others may not. If (worst-case scenario) you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, your car’s safety features need to be up to date. You should also avoid driving between 8pm and 2am on New Year’s Eve/Day if at all possible. The highest number of drunk driving accidents happen during this timeframe.
If you’ve taken on hosting the big New Year’s Eve party, realize that this comes with big responsibilities. If you truly want to be the host or hostess with the mostest, offer options ahead of time for getting home safely. If you have room for it, host a few guests for the night. For those you can’t host overnight, you can purchase safe rides with Uber ahead of time through a partnership between Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). In fact, for every safe ride purchased, Uber will donate $10 to MADD.
While you plan for your party, stock up on lots of non-alcoholic beverages and be sure to provide food so your guests don’t drink on an empty stomach. You should also be clear ahead of time that you’ll stop serving alcohol well before the party officially ends.
Whether you are a passenger, designated driver or host this New Year’s Eve, we urge you to celebrate responsibly. Here’s to 2016!