Ringing in the New Year is a celebration most everyone looks forward to, but you also want to be certain you are doing everything you can to keep yourself – and others – safe. Figure out ahead of time who will be the designated driver or if you will hire a ride share company. Any type of distracted driving will put you at risk. Ahead of time, pack a winter car emergency kit and complete your preparations with appropriate car insurance. Be sure to get car insurance quotes for a policy that not only keeps you safe but also saves you money in the New Year.
New Year’s Eve might be the only holiday that is directly associated with drinking alcohol. July 4th has its fireworks, Christmas has its gifts, and New Year’s Eve has bubbling champagne. Because of this, it also tends to be one of the worst nights to drive with regards to safety risk.
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Have a Plan if You are Headed Out
If you are going out with friends, decide how you will get around town safely. There are so many options available, it is just good common sense to take a moment to have this conversation ahead of time. Some possibilities include:
- Hiring a rideshare like Lyft or Uber
- Staying at a friend’s house
- Appointing a designated driver
- Staying at a nearby hotel
- Hire a limo, bus or town car
Whenever you go out to party with friends, it’s always a great idea for everyone to go home together at the end of the night. “No man or woman left behind” should be the group’s motto, so that everyone else knows each of you got home safely.
Remember, regardless of your gender, never leave your beverage unattended. You might want to leave it on the bar or table to go dancing or to the restroom, but finish it first or leave it with a trusted friend.
If You are Hosting a Party
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party certainly takes the pressure off of you and drinking and driving. However, if you don’t have a solid plan ahead of time, you could be sending your friends out on the road when they shouldn’t be driving.
- Everyone throws their keys into a bowl and the host or designated (non) drinking individual decides when they get them back (in other words, when they are able to drive)
- Open your home to your friends if they would like to stay the night. This alleviates all of the worry and stress about partying and driving home.
- Offer to have a taxi or rideshare take them home if they are unable. Pay for it yourself if you have to, the rest can be sorted through after they’ve arrived home safely.
- Let them know the nearest hotels so they can plan to Uber there themselves.
- Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available for those who don’t want to partake in drinking alcohol.
Be Aware of Those Around You
Whether you have stayed in or gone out to celebrate, be aware of those around you. Are your friends climbing into the driver’s seat after drinking? If you see someone getting behind the wheel while they are intoxicated, take their keys away and help them find a way home – safely. Register and familiarize yourself with the rideshare apps and be prepared to press a few simple buttons to help your friends out.
If you are on the road and you spot a driver who seems to be intoxicated, pull over and call 911. Give the police a description of the vehicle, where you spotted it and in what direction it is headed.
If you are out with friends and doing a pub crawl, keep in mind that intersections and crossing the road will be more dangerous now than any other time of year. Stand farther back from the corner while waiting for the street light to change, and be aware of everything – other pedestrians and cars – going on around you.
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Consider Celebrating Early
The New Year will still be there tomorrow! Just because it is officially rung in at midnight doesn’t mean you absolutely have to stay up until that time. Many people now are opting to have a nice dinner out (or in) and celebrating well before the midnight hour. This saves you from worrying about hardcore revelers and gets you in bed sleeping at a reasonable hour.
2023 is coming in fast! While we should celebrate the old year leaving and the new one coming in, think about doing it responsibly so you’ll have all of 2023 to enjoy.
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