Safe driving through New Year’s celebrations is something everyone should give some thought. Many people are drinking on this celebration night, which means that there could be drunk drivers on the road. Combine that with winter conditions on the road, and it’s a night you definitely want to be prepared for as a driver. Here are some facts about New Year’s night and ways that you can be safe on the road!
Did you know that New Year’s Eve is one of the most common days for car accidents? Reportedly, there are 71% more car accidents on the evening of New Year’s and following morning than the rest of the entire year. This is due to a surge in alcohol consumption and drug use during the end-of-the-year celebrations.
On average, driving accidents rise during the holidays. Communities know this, which is why many more police officers are out on this night to try and keep the public as safe as possible. Because of the high rate of accidents, it’s best to avoid driving on this night if you can help it. Try having a party at your home or drive to see family on a different day to reduce your risk for an accident.
If you do venture out, it’s crucial to have a safe ride on a night when so many people are out and about. That is why planning is so important to your trip. Plan out your route to a celebration and choose roads that have been cleared of snow, but that are less traveled. Know where winter road construction is happening. Watch the news prior to your trip to learn about current accident sites you can avoid.
Know your options in advance and decide whether you’ll take public transportation, use a ride-sharing service, or carpool with your friends. A good rule of thumb is to also travel with a group and not alone on this night. You also don’t want to leave your car overnight somewhere. New Year’s Day is the second most active holiday for car thefts.
Always have a designated driver if your group plans on drinking alcohol on New Year’s Eve. This designated driver (or several) will need to monitor others for safety and will need to choose safe times and routes for driving. Whoever you choose, make sure that this person helps guests to get home safely.
If needed, hire a designated driver for the evening to get guests home. There are many driving services that will be open for business on New Year’s eve because of the designated driver demand. If you’re hosting a party, you’ll want to be sure your guests get home safely as well. One option might be to hire a driver for the evening to provide people a way to get home. Another may be to have an earlier party so that guests can get home before traffic and the presence of drunk drivers on the road is high.
Have children at home, but you also have celebrations you’re attending? Make sure you set plans for children to have a sitter when you’re away. If children are older and attending parties of their own, make sure you know their travel plans in advance. Who are they driving with? What method of transportation are they taking? Is the destination close enough to walk to? What size of group will they be traveling with for safety?
It’s very important to discuss the dangers of driving on New Year’s even when you have teenage drivers. Some drivers won’t have their cars prepared for winter, which can lead to accidents. Others will go through traffic lights instead of stopping or will make poor driving decisions due to alcohol and drug use.
With children that are going to be out of the home on this night, set plans for them to stay where their celebration is happening (such as at a friend’s house). If you don’t want them driving as a group on the road, set up designated parent drivers that can safely get them from one place to another. Encourage teenagers and college students to stay at one location instead of traveling from place to place.
You can plan your New Year’s day like a professional and still run into problems if you haven’t considered car maintenance or winterizing your car. If you can, invest in snow tires prior to winter. If you haven’t yet gotten snow tires, it’s not too late. Snow tires have much deeper treads and designs that are made specifically for getting your car through snowy road conditions. They will reduce your risk of slipping and sliding on the road and could literally help you avoid a car accident.
Once you have your snow tires, keep emergency preparedness packs in your car for whatever situation you might find yourself in. That means keeping items like this in your car:
You always want to have prepared kits in your car whether you’re going a mile down the road or to a New Year’s party far away. These will always help get you out of an emergency. To see if your car is safe for winter road conditions, and to learn more of our safety tips for New Year’s driving, call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto today at (970) 682-4202!