For most, New Year’s Eve is a night of sparkly dresses, dapper suits, and popping champagne bottles. Folks want to ring in the new year in style, glamour, and–no doubt–with a number of drinks.
Unfortunately, some overimbibe and get behind the wheel, resulting in many tragic deaths and injuries. According to the “Dangers of Drinking and Driving” by IDriveSafely.com, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash nearly every 90 seconds, and even worse, during the holidays, the amount of alcohol-related driving deaths nearly doubles. Let’s take these sobering statistics as a reminder to make a New Year’s Eve resolution this year and opt to stay safe on the roads.
Take Care of Yourself
People tend to overdo it on New Year’s Eve, drinking more or different drinks than they normally would. Be conscious of what you’re drinking. For example, considering alcohol content by volume, a pilsner could land in the 5% range, and tequila near 50%.
Also know how alcohol affects your body, and thus, your driving. With a blood alcohol content (BAC) level between 0.07 and 0.09, a driver’s vision, reaction time, hearing, speech, and balance are delayed, judgment and self-control are reduced, and reason and memory are flawed. These deficiencies are increasingly exaggerated as BAC rises, collectively impairing motor coordination.
Be Aware of Others
Whether you’re driving, cabbing, walking, or otherwise getting to or from a fabulous New Year’s soiree, be aware of others on the road. Watch for drivers swerving or drifting in and out of lanes, rapidly accelerating or decelerating, driving without headlights, or abruptly or illegally turning. If you witness dangerous driving, find a safe place to stop and call the police, sharing license plate and vehicle details if you can. It’s not tattling — in fact, it could save lives.
Consider ridesharing apps, but keep in mind their popularity on New Year’s Eve. Check out Uber’s New Year’s Eve ride guide, which encourages riders to pay attention to surge pricing, split fares with friends, and use the UberPool carpool function. While prices and availability may vary due to a few factors, Uber shared past best and worst times to ride: Best are before 8 p.m. and from 10:30 p.m. to just after 12:00 a.m., when people are readying to watch the ball drop in Times Square or smooch someone special at midnight, and worst times are from 12:15 to 2:30 a.m., unsurprisingly, as folks head home. Lyft last year named prime ride times as 7-10:00 p.m. and 1-3:00 a.m. and encouraged sharing rides and monitoring for increased fares.
Other options? Many cab companies feature scheduled pick-up times, which may help especially in planning your outbound ride. And never forget the wonder that is public transportation! Run a quick search on New Year’s Eve public transpo in your city and you’ll likely find added routes and free fares to discourage residents from getting behind the wheel themselves.
Enjoy ringing in 2016 in safety and style, and check out this infographic for New Year’s traditions, resolutions, and other fun.